What Were You Taught About Prayer?

Many of us when we were little got told to fold your hands, close your eyes, and bow your head as we prayed.  Maybe we even kneeled by the bed to say our prayers before bed. What if I told you Jesus never told his disciples that? As a matter of fact, Paul tells in in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, that we are to pray without ceasing. So obviously, praying before bed, on our knees, head bowed, eyes closed and hands folded is not the only position for prayer.

We will start looking at the positions of prayer with Jesus in John 17:1,

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven,

This whole time after the Last Supper, Jesus had been walking and talking with His disciples. He told them that the time has come that they will leave Him and they would scatter back to their homes. We know at this point Jesus was standing because you can’t walk looking up without running into something or tripping. Jesus stopped what He was doing and looked up to His Father to pray.

Shortly after this prayer we see that when they did reach the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus took Peter, James, and John to go with Him leaving the other disciples to sit and wait for Him to pray. He didn’t go very far, they could all probably hear Him pray. In Luke 29:41, Luke states that Jesus was only a stone’s throw away. He had asked Peter, James, and John to keep watch as He prayed. This time when He prayed He knelt down to pray.

The last time we see Jesus praying was when He was on the cross with His arms out wide. Think about it, this is God we are talking about and at any time He could have said, “Enough is enough! I have had it and you are all toast.” BUT He didn’t instead He endured the cross and asked His Father to forgive those that had hurt Him, nailed Him to the cross. He chose at that time to pray for those around Him while still being on the cross. He could have decided to freak everyone out by taking and folding His hands in prayer, but He didn’t. With His arms stretched out, He chose to show love through forgiveness.

Like Jesus, Moses asked for forgiveness of the Israelites while He was on the mountain with God getting the 10 commandments. In Exodus 34, we see Moses bow his head before God as he asked for forgiveness not just for himself but all of Israel.

Lastly, let’s take a look at David in 1 Chronicles 17. We see in verse 16, David went in before the LORD, sat down and basically had a One on one conversation with Him. There is plenty of time to pray when you are sitting down. Just get in the car and get on a freeway. You will have plenty of time sitting in traffic to pray and a good reason to pray.

Pray continuously, no matter what your position is, God’s end of the phone line is always open.

18 thoughts on “What Were You Taught About Prayer?

  1. Ailie says:

    Beautifully written. I love the picture you portrayed of Jesus praying his arms flung wide to the side on the cross. To me this is such a beautiful picture of surrender. I love it.

    I was taught that prayer was a dialogue with God. we speak then we listen to God for his reply. I believe prayer is a conversation we have with God and our physical position changes according to the nature of the discussion we are having with God. I am so grateful my parents taught me to listen to God as much as talk to him.

    Beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Destiny Coaching says:

    I especially appreciate that we are not commanded to pray in a set position, whether kneel, sitting or standing. Praying is dialogue with our Father and that’s how I approach it. I’ve been criticized for not making a public display of prayer in a restaurant before a meal but I have opposition to that as I believe we can pray a prayer of thanks privately and our influence for Jesus goes way beyond public prayers. Like how we act and interact with others, how we treat others, etc. Thanks so much, Bonnie. Your writings always encourage and inspire.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peggy says:

    My mother taught us to pray a simple prayer at bedtime each night. As an adult, I always remembered that prayer and it comforted me many nights. Prayer is so important to teach to our young ones.

    Like

  4. lesleyryden says:

    I have learned that the only way I can pray without ceasing is to turn every thought into a prayer… instead of thinking through my day or my to-do list I pray through it. Instead of thinking about my worries, I pray through them. It is a discipline I PRAY to grow in daily! Thank you for this lovely post! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kalinann says:

    Good post! My Pastor was telling a story last Sunday about prayer and when/how we should pray. He mentioned something called “praying ground” and said we are on holy, praying ground anytime we are truly coming to God with honesty, repentance and faith. Whether we are in a car praying for a parking place, or on our knees praying for a serious matter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bb4him says:

      That is an interesting point. Moses and Joshua were both told to take off their shoes because they were on holy ground. Only I know in TX it is illegal to drive barefooted.

      Like

  6. TheMomCafe.com says:

    First of all, I JUST noticed your blog roll on the side bar and spot SO many of my favorite friends and writers over there! YAY!

    I loved this Bonnie. I’ve always felt a bit of guilt that I pray all the time, doing ANYTHING- wondering if I am not being ‘holy’ enough- but it’s ME and that’s how I have always always always talked to God. Sure there are more formal prayers, but I always trust that God wants to hear our voice and commune with us, no matter what our bodies are doing. I think it’s also a personal decision of preference, ya know? I think some people feel very strongly with holding their hands together, or kneeling, or speaking out loud or any particular way they deem important to pray. I actuallybelieve God loves the variety. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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