A few years ago, Roy and I were hunting for a small home group in our church which would be a good fit for us. We went to a small group, and had a nice, warm, welcoming meal with them.
Then came worship. Everyone stood. I sat on the couch, put my head down and sort of crunched forward in an almost foetal position, as I do when I shut the world out, and try to focus on God.
To my horror, I heard the (male) leader say, “Stand up. When you sit, your spirit sits.” I had never heard such baloney!! I stood up, and a minute or two later whispered to his wife that I had to leave to put my kids to sleep. I could tell without staying further that I would have been unhappy in that group had I stayed.
(And my poor girls, who have been strong-willed, independent-minded, feisty girls from the day they learnt to say NO–at the very latest–thank you so providing bedtime alibis on SO many boring occasions. I wish you would condescend to let us put you to bed, but you rarely have!)
IS there a posture which best befits prayer?
For me, when it’s push come to shove, and I absolutely need to hear God’s voice, or am desperate and absolutely need his help and intervention, it’s kneeling. Somehow, it clears my mind, and I almost always calm down, and hear God so much more clearly.
This year, I discovered soaking prayer at a conference in Oxford led by John Arnott and sponsored by my church, and learning it has helped me much stronger, more anchored in God, and far happier. Here’s one of my many posts on the subject.
Not being particularly strong or fit, I find the half hour plus of standing worship at church a trial (the standing, not the worship). On the other hand, standing does give you the opportunity to discreetly jive or dance. Just as an uncomfortable body cannot think well, write well, even have a really good conversation with a friend, you cannot pray well when you’re physically uncomfortable, I believe. So dancing along does help.
I wish I came from a tradition in which I could spontaneously throw my hands into the air in worship or surrender or joy. Often that’s what my spirit is doing internally, and I, stupidly, feel self-conscious to do it externally–though that is a barrier I am breaking.
How about you? Which postures do you find best befit prayer?