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Is there a correct posture for prayer?

Selected Scriptures QA156

Is there a correct posture for prayer?

There are many correct postures for prayer and no one posture is right or wrong. The Bible exhorts Christians to pray without ceasing and that necessitates various positions for prayer--no one can remain in just one position all day! But in the Bible, we can see people praying in various positions:

  • Standing (Genesis 24:12-14)
  • Lifting the hands (1 Timothy 2:8)
  • Sitting (Judges 20:26)
  • Kneeling (Mark 1:40)
  • Looking upward (John 17:1)
  • Bowing down (Exodus 34:8)
  • Placing the head between the knees (1 Kings 18:42)
  • Pounding on the breast (Luke 18:13)
  • Facing the temple (Daniel 6:10)

Rather than external positioning, the Bible emphasizes the posture of the heart. Whether you are standing, sitting, or lying down, the important thing is that your heart is bowed in submission to the lordship of Christ. False religion places a premium on external behavior, while true Christianity is concerned with the heart. And true prayer is characterized by an attitude of humility before God-not the physical posture of the person praying.