February 07, 2021

The Posture of Prayer

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love. . . . A broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

—  Psalm 51:1, 17

What is your posture for praying? Do you close your eyes? Do you fold your hands? Do you get down on your knees? Do you stand up?

Actually, there are many appropriate positions for prayer, and none are necessarily right or wrong. It’s the posture of our hearts that really matters in praying.

The Bible teaches that God rejects the proud and the arro­gant. But God listens to the prayers of believers who approach him with a humble and contrite heart.

Approaching God with a humble and repentant heart, though, does not imply groveling. Coming before God with meekness, we confess that we have sinned and have fallen short of his glory. Our humility is an appeal for forgiveness. It’s an acknowledgment of our utter need and total dependence. Ultimately, it’s a plea that we need Jesus.

Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we receive God’s grace. So with humility and a contrite spirit, we can boldly enter into God’s very presence with our prayers. God does not despise our humble repentance.

So whether you pray standing up, on your knees, seated, with your hands folded, or however you happen to approach God, do so with a humble and contrite heart.

Father, through your Son, Jesus, we come humbly before you, trusting that you hear and answer our prayers. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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