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Page 164

  • Prostrating - Lying down; bowing with one's face to the ground

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    For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven.

    - II Chronicles 6:13

    And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.

    - Genesis 24:26

    And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

    - Luke 18:13

    When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, 0 Lord.

    And it came to pass, when He was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.

    - Luke 5:8, 12

     

    The Bible provides examples of various body postures in prayer. It refers to praying while kneeling (II Chronicles 6:13), standing with a bowed head (Genesis 24:26, Luke 18:13), prostrating oneself (Luke 5:8,12), and other similar positions. The posture we use in prayer may vary according to the circumstances we find ourselves in, but our bodily position, as well as our words, should reflect:

      1. Reverence
      2. Respect
      3. Humility

    Closing our eyes and folding our hands in prayer is a posture that expresses reverence, respect, and humility. When we close our eyes, we confess that we are not looking to physical things or to others for our help, but to the true God, who is a Spirit -we are looking "spiritually," not "physically," when we pray. When folding our hands, we confess that we are not relying upon our own strength, actions, or accomplishments, but that we are dependent upon God's "hand." This posture is one that expresses selfsurrender and defenselessness.

      Read the following parable:

      Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

      The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

    164

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