When Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room. Daniel 6:10 NLT
“Clyde, don’t slouch down in your desk.”
I was in the third grade when I first became familiar with the definition of posture. Though my teacher, Mrs. Early, didn’t use the actual word, she associated it with the word slouch. So if I didn’t slouch, I had good posture. Good posture, evidently, meant sitting up straight.
Clyde had a habit of slouching. Why it was important for Clyde to sit up straight Mrs. Early didn’t explain. That part of good posture I would learn later in life. For now, it was enough to know I needed to sit up straight. Posture was important.
Posture is also crucial in prayer. The Pharisee who prayed in the temple stood while praying, and God said he went home no better off than when he arrived. The tax collector stood a different way and went home with a prayer accepted by God. Daniel knelt while he prayed and found himself in the lion’s den. However, God closed the mouths of the lions.
Lying face down, standing, sitting, and kneeling are all different prayer postures illustrated in the Bible. Not all people can do some of them due to health problems—or even missing limbs. But the posture of the body isn’t nearly as important as the posture of the heart.
Daniel’s outward posture matched the posture of his heart; the Pharisee’s didn’t. Daniel knelt in his heart and in his posture. The Pharisee stood before God with his posture but paraded before God in his heart.
Regardless of my outward posture when approaching God’s throne in prayer, my inward posture should be one of humility. I, a mere human, am approaching the Creator, Controller, and Savior of the universe. The One who has power to give and take life with a breath from His lips. The One who loved enough to sacrifice His Son for the salvation of mankind. The One who loves unconditionally and persistently.
With humility, I come to offer ACTS: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Before my list, I adore Him. Before my list, I confess my sins and shortcomings. And before my list, I thank Him for His goodness that is beyond my imagination. When I’m through with those things, my list of wants is normally much shorter.
In what posture are you coming before God?
Prayer: Father, in our hearts, we fall before You, the deliverer of all good things and the sustainer of our souls.