Monday, October 02, 2006

Prayer Posture #3

Kneeling is the third posture; either with the head up, eyes open, hands open, or with head down, eyes closed, and hands clasped.

This is the traditional posture for requesting favors from a king, and so it became the traditional posture for prayers of repentance or supplication. The position itself is strengthened by the imagery of a person approaching a king to make a request. When doing this in prayer, we are putting ourselves at the mercy of the King by exposing our neck, which is an act that show complete vulnerability to the king’s power.

The Council of Nicea in AD 325 forbade kneeling on Sundays(GO FIGURE), because penitential prayer is not appropriate during a celebration of the Resurrection. In western Christianity, kneeling came to mean simple humility and submission, and so kneeling became the normal posture for most prayers in the west. However, to eastern Christians, kneeling still means repentance or supplication.

Matthew 18:26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

Luke 22:41He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Confession is an act of worship. We confess our sin out of reverence for GOD so that he might continue to claim more and more of our lives. Confession is worship that frees us. So today, kneel and in the quietness of your heart, Confess to GOD.

Before we are to take communion we are told to examine ourselves:
Even before we worship we are encouraged to....
Matthew 5 23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Psalm 66 says:
16 Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Father GOD
For all the hurtful things that we have said to people that we love and care about. FORGIVE US. For all those things that we should have said but didn’t we ask that you would forgive us.
For ignoring the lonely or changing ourselves just to be accepted or for going along with the crowd and for listening to those who didn’t have our best interests at heart, Forgive us GOD.
Father forgive us for ignoring you, for asking for worthless things, for wanting what we do not need, and for taking what we do not want. And for taking for grant all the good gifts that you have blessed us with. GOD, our list can go on, but you are the GOD of second chances. We rely on the forgiveness and grace promised to us by Jesus Christ your son. May we come to the table this morning as new creations and may we sit with one another as forgiven people for we know that if we confess our sins You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Amen

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