Today I want us to think about the importance of the positions we adopt when we pray. There are two extreme errors in the context of this topic. One the one hand, we could make the mistake of thinking that our bodily position affects the effectiveness of our prayers; on the other hand, it would be ignorant to suggest that our positions don’t impact our prayers at all. CS Lewis makes some intriguing observations in this regard.
“The body ought to pray as well as the soul.”CS Lewis, Letters to Malcolm
Add to that a thought from Screwtape Letters. You have to read Screwtape oppositely as Lewis writes from the perspective of one demon advising another.
“[Humans] can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers…they constantly forget…that whatever their bodies do affects their souls.“CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Lewis challenges us to at least consider how the positions we adopt when we pray might impact our approach to prayer. I have found this to be very true [and not just in my prayers but also in my meditation]. My approach to prayer is far more serious and intentional when I’m on my knees. Although I can pray at any point and anywhere, even walking down the street, and God listens just the same, adopting a physical position for prayer makes an impact on my personal focus and attitude.
Let me be clear, the position you take when you pray doesn’t mean God is going to hear you any less or more, but it can have an impact on your own approach to prayer. As such, it has an immense impact on how effective prayer can be as a spiritual discipline.
So, hear this as an encouragement to adopt a bodily position that reflects your motivation for prayer. On your knees is a great start!
As an added extra here is a picture of John Wesley’s prayer room. He had a small room built just off his bedroom which he devoted to prayer and meditation. He would kneel at this desk and here spend time meeting with God.