kneeling in prayer

Christ -I am come

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”, www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

When I was a kid, one of the most abhorrent methods of punishment was to be sent to our knees. Not allowed to speak, facing a wall or a corner, kneeling, back straight with hands clasped behind us we would remain ‘forgotten’ at times for hours. I don’t recall for how long, or even that sometimes we missed meal times. When I am reminded by certain dear siblings, those memories vaguely return.

I do remember well the agony, feeling very faint and lightheaded. One of my sisters with a phenomenal memory recalls passing the time by imagining clouds, animals and such in the patterns on the wall. She remembers times feeling like she almost passed out, even hallucinating. I mention this to give you an idea, that while I cannot quote how many hours at a time…it truly was a long time for children to remain rooted and unmoving.

It always amazed me that my sisters remained kneeling in the correct posture for a very much longer period than I was able to do. I couldn’t understand how it was possible that they were able to endure so much longer than me. After only a few moments, I would begin to feel sharp pains shoot through my bones. Soon I’d lift each leg in turn to relieve the torment.

Eventually though, we all would succumb to sitting back on our legs for some relief hoping that we would not get caught. If we were found out, that would be for the worse. When we finally were liberated, it would take us some moments after we stood up to be able to walk, stiff legged and sore, with deep grooves in our reddened knees imprinted from the wooden floor patterns.

And we were good kids! I’ve no idea where this idea for discipline originated, but I am pretty sure ‘hours’ were not supposed to be included in this method for such tiny souls whose worse transgression was the mishap of quarreling and ‘not getting along’.

The same malady that had affected me as a child was a challenge whenever I knelt in prayer. Instead of speaking with my Heavenly Father, all I could focus on was the pain I was experiencing.

One of my most embarrassing moments was kneeling in my chiropractor’s office one day. Why would it be embarrassing to kneel in his office? I’m not sure, unless it brought back a measure of the feelings I’d experienced as a child cowering before a parent, mute, humiliated, hopelessly angry and feeling unloved.

Several months before, I had mentioned my challenge and asked for this good man’s help. He had attempted adjustments several times and I was beginning to wonder if there was ever going to be a change for the better. This time, he thought he had succeeded and so when he was done I promptly kneeled to test out my knees. No pain.

It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” Phillippians 2:13

Why would I persevere? I could have just accepted this limitation, couldn’t I? Praying in other positions is surely acceptable. The deep desire to address Heavenly Father on my knees began somewhere deep within my heart. I don’t fully know how or why.

I believe that He may well have given me that yearning so that I eventually could humbly bow before Him with confidence and pleasure-a very long way from my childhood experiences.

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Phillippians 2:10

I’ve never felt such deep love, approval, peace and joy in all my life. I’ve never cried so deeply as when I’m on my knees before the Almighty. Not in physical pain. But with cleansing of the heart and soul my wounded spirit was healed. For me, I do not know that I would have received the healing, love and peace that I needed in any other way.

“He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross”  Phillippians 2:8

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane
“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”, www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

There is a tremendous price for the blessings we receive. That’s the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Christ has paid for our abundance with His life.

We may choose to humbly bow with faith and gratitude today. Or we may procrastinate until we meet Him face to face, speechless, and with great remorse fall on our knees–at the Savior’s feet.

 

How important do you feel kneeling in prayer to be? Do you feel there is a difference? What has been your experience?