Jul 13, 2012
Years ago my wife and I visited Jack Hayford’s Church on the Way.
We were used to church services where we’d sing a few songs and then hear a sermon.
But Church on the Way was different.
They weren’t just going to church — they were seeking God.
They weren’t just enjoying a service — they were worshiping God.
They weren’t just singing songs — they were meeting the Living God.
Not only that …
Some were kneeling before God, some lifting their hands to God, some bowing before God.
And I will never forget one couple right in front of us.
They were both lifting their hands in worship.
Then the husband reached over and grasped his wife’s raised hand — so that together they lifted their hands to the Lord.
That service impacted me in many ways.
One was that I started noticing how often bowing, kneeling, and lifting hands are mentioned in the Bible —
Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah … fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. (2Ch 20:18)
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! (Psa 95:6)
[Daniel] got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. (Dan 6:10)
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands. (1Tim 2:8)
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! (Psa 141:2)
Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD! (Psa 134:2)
But I’m an introvert
I am. Not very expressive. So this felt a little uncomfortable.
But I started to wonder — Is physical posture important?
It seemed to be — based on God’s Word. But why?
Here’s an illustration that helps me —
Imagine that I am sitting at the kitchen table, and Jan is at our sink, and I want to tell her that I love her.
So think of what I’d feel if I stayed sitting, and said to her — “I love you.”
I’d mean it. And I’d feel it.
Think of what I’d feel if I got up from the kitchen table, walked over to her, took her in my arms, looked her in the eye, and said “I love you.”
Same words. But I would feel them more deeply. Much more deeply.
It’s because our feelings and bodies are connected.
Our physical posture can express our feelings — and strengthen our feelings.
Not that physical posture produces feelings.
But if we are already feeling love for God — physical posture can strengthen that even more.
Kneeling can deepen humility before God.
Bowing can increase awe of God.
Lifting hands can strengthen desire for God — or praise to God — or neediness before God.
So here’s a suggestion —
Start with your own private prayer
What’s most important is your heart.
So focus on nurturing your heart for God through prayer and God’s Word.
Then — as God stirs your feelings — try this and see what happens —
As you worship — raise your hands toward God.
As you confess — bow down on the floor before God.
As you plead — kneel before Him — stretch out your hands to Him.
I can almost guarantee — your feelings toward God will be strengthened.
What difference did this make?
I’d love to hear — leave a comment below. Thanks!
And if you know someone who would be helped by reading this — email it to them using the “share” button below — or use the buttons to share it on your favorite social medium.
And here’s some related links you might find helpful —
How George Whitefield Read God's Word
Blaise Pascal's Astonishing Experience
Don't settle for just knowing the truth -- FEEL the truth (a 4-min video)
"Mystery" by Charlie Hall (5-min worship video)
(Picture on everystockphoto by kalandrakas.)