For our annual Prayer Day on March 10, we are going to be walking through Psalm 95 which is a psalm that calls us to use a wide variety of postures in our prayer life depending on what we are brining before the throne of grace. There are five postures of prayer that we are to utilize as God's people which include the following: sitting with head bowed, kneeling, lying prostrate, standing, and praying with hands raised.
In each posture, a person is actively seeking the Lord for a particular reason. Think of sitting with our head bowed, which is the way we pray most of the time. This is a position of request, but also of active listening where we speak, or we listen for another to speak for us in a corporate or family time of prayer that symbolizes both unity of presence and of heart before the Lord and one another.
The second posture of prayer that is often used is that of kneeling. In this posture, we are physically lowering ourselves in the presence of God. Often this posture is used privately by people at night before they get into bed for a time of giving thanks in humility and in devotion for the day that God has given. This posture is also used in public prayers when people are ordained into an office of the church. In some traditions, kneeling prayer is used in weddings. Also, a pastor, elder, or leader may kneel to bring the confessions of the people before the Lord in public prayer.
The third posture of prayer is that of laying down prostrate before the Lord. This is generally the position of prayer for confession privately and in some public events. This posture of prayer shows the weight of sin that brings a person down to the dust of the earth. All major characters of scriptures of humanity are recorded to have prayed in this way, especially David. From this posture, the person is seeking God's grace alone to raise us in heart and in body from sin to the fullness of grace with him.
The fourth posture of prayer is standing with head bowed. This is a posture that Samuel would have taken on when he said, "Here, I am Lord." This is a posture of respect to the Lord that is often used in public prayer.
The final posture of prayer is to stand and raise one's hands to the Lord in prayer. This posture of prayer is generally used for giving thanks to God for his provision and his victories for the day or for life.
As you look over this list, most of us will find ourselves in one posture as our favorite. But as you look at the list, I would encourage you to use one or two other postures in this season on Lent as we prepare for Easter. For this season is one where we are longing for the Lord to make all things new in our world, in our nation, in our denomination, and in our life.
The leadership of the church would particularly ask that you join us in prayer for our denomination as again Synod has been canceled for another year due to COVID-19 issues. Pray for our denomination using each of these postures of prayer in this season that we, as covenant people united to the Lord, would confess and cast sin and its promotion from our church. Second, that the Holy Spirit would continue to bring revival through His Spoken Word. Third, that faithful leaders would be brought to lead the denomination for the cause of Christ alone and the growth of His Kingdom.