Let Us Kneel

Jesus praying

Many of us as Seventh-day Adventists are aware of the prayers we make during our Sabbath service. For the most part, with the exception of the “garden of prayer” portion of the service, we all stand when we are led by the speaker  to ask for payers.

But what does our Biblical history through Scriptures show?

In Ephesians 5:1-2 we read–

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

One of the ways we can imitate God is through the prayer actions of our Lord and His prophets.

“And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,..”(Luke 22:40-41).

The Spirit of prophecy sheds light on our subject —

“Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Luke 22:41.] Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Acts 9:40; 20:36; 21:5.]

Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Ephesians 3:14.] In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. [See Ezra 9:5.] Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” [Daniel 6:10.] {Gospel Workers p.178.2}

Now, to be clear, there is no command in the Scriptures to bow down on our knees to pray. Yet if we truly want to show honor and respect we can know that this act of holy reverence can only be pleasing to our Lord.

In Ecc. 12:13 we read–

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Many of us are well familiar with the holy 10 Commandments, but how many of us spend time thinking of “fearing the Lord”? This means ways we can show holy reverence and deep respect for His awesome power and might.

Daniel was a man who was highly favored of the Lord. One of the keys no doubt was his holy reverence in “kneeling” three times a day in prayer to the Lord. Are we to aspire to such elevated heights to please the ONE whom is worthy? We should be at least trying.

Our prophetess spoke quite firmly about this issue —

“I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people.

But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down upon your knees.” This is the proper position always.” (Selected messages, vol. 2, p.311)

“We are living in perilous times. Seventh-day Adventists are professedly  the commandment-keeping people of God; but they are losing their devotional  spirit. This spirit of reverence for God teaches men how to approach their  Maker–with sacredness and awe through faith, not in themselves, but in a  Mediator. Thus man is kept fast, under whatever circumstances he is placed. 

Man must come on bended knee, as a subject of grace, a suppliant at the  footstool of mercy. And as he receives daily mercies at the hand of God, he  is ever to cherish gratitude in his heart, and give expression to it in the  words of thanksgiving and praise for these unmerited favours.

Angels have been  guarding his pathway through all his life, and many of the snares he has been  delivered from he has not seen. And for this  guardianship and watchcare by eyes that never slumber and never sleep, he is to recognise in every prayer the service of God for him.” (NBL p.121.)

David, another man after God’s heart said —

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker”(Psalms 95:6).

One of the certain times we should kneel and pray is when the pastor or speaker comes up to preach the sermon.

“When the minister enters, it should be with dignified, solemn mien. He should bow down in silent prayer as soon as he steps into the pulpit, and earnestly ask help of God. What an impression this will make! There will be solemnity and awe upon the people.

Their minister is communing with God; he is committing himself to God before he dares to stand before the people. Solemnity rests upon all, and angels 493 of God are brought very near. Every one of the congregation, also, who fears God should with bowed head unite in silent prayer with him that God may grace the meeting with His presence and give power to His truth proclaimed from human lips.

When the meeting is opened by prayer, every knee should bow in the presence of the Holy One, and every heart should ascend to God in silent devotion. The prayers of faithful worshippers will be heard, and the ministry of the word will prove effectual. The lifeless attitude of the worshippers in the house of God is one great reason why the ministry is not more productive of good.”(Testimonies, vol. 5, p.492-493)

 

To summarize, this issue really is a “search your heart” issue and the Lord is leaving it up to us to know our reverence. Many times we pray but may be driving in the car or at another place where kneeling is not possible or inappropriate. But when it is, our first and best action is to  kneel before the MOST HIGH and offer up our petitions. After all our great leaders of the past did it and the KING Himself did it.

 

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