How Kneeling & Folding Hands Can Improve Prayer Life

Hi, friends. A lot of us don’t literally kneel and fold our hands when we pray; in Protestant churches, congregants usually bow their heads and close their eyes when the preacher leads a prayer. In this post, I will explain why kneeling and folding hands can improve prayer life.

This advice won’t apply to everyone. I’ve heard people say that they talk to God in the car driving. I admire people who pray often and easily.

This advice applies to those who struggle to carve out the time and concentration for a strong prayer life. I often wait to pray until bedtime; when my sleepy head hits the pillow, I’ve often forgotten to pray, let my mind drift to other thoughts, or fallen asleep. Not anymore, though.

In The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, an uncle demon (Screwtape) advises his nephew demon (Wormwood) on the corruption of a newly-converted Christian’s soul. In the fourth letter, Screwtape quotes Samuel Coleridge (who, along with William Wordsworth, founded Romanticism) as saying he did not pray “with moving lips and bended knee;” rather, he “composed his spirit to love” and indulged “a sense of supplication.” Screwtape says that this is how Wormwood should encourage his “patient” to pray–essentially, in a vague, superficial, unconnected way.

Screwtape says that humans forget they are animals, and their bodily positions affect their souls–hence, Screwtape implies that we should kneel and fold our hands when we pray.

Kneeling is difficult with my disability, but I’ve implemented the method of folding my hands when I pray, and let me tell you…it works. The physical position forces me to focus and give the Lord my genuine, undivided attention.

I’m growing in my prayer life now. I’ve surprised myself sometimes with the words my heart have poured out in those intimate conversations.

Now I just need to improve with the more “advanced” prayer points like keeping track of my sins and asking for deliberate, specific repentance and also praying for longer periods of time.

Thanks for reading! When and how do you pray?

 

25 comments

  1. One day I will read that book!

    I think how we pray is reflective and symbolic, just meant for Him 🙂 and I think when we kneel or pray with folded hands it is a way to show God, “I’m listening, help me hear You.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t kneel either but I find it helps to bow my head and fold my hands. It helps me focus. A bible passage that has helped me over the years is in Hebrews 10 because it helps me remember I am entering the Holy of Holies, presence of God, because of what Jesus did for me.
    “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope I am learning to pray without ceasing but my favorite time of prayer is morning. I’m the only “morning person” in my family so it is a time where I am not usually interrupted. I write my prayers. It keeps me focused, slows me down, and helps me meditate on the Lord and what He is doing in my life. The more private things I wouldn’t want others to read, generally I look to the heavens or bow my head and pour out my heart. One of my favorite songs is , “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” And what a wonderful time it is when my heavenly Father wraps his arms and around me and whispers, “I love you” to my heart.

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  4. I think I have prayed every which kind of posture there is for it, including lying face down on the ground.

    I generally pray with folded hands around my kids – the little ones. And I have seen the two year olds begin to join me in this posture, which I find to be a shepherding thing – a teaching/discipleship thing. And it thrills me to see them respond and learn to have reverence for God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the analogy of shepherding; I wish more Christian parents cared enough to truly shepherd their children in the faith since the Lord is our good shepherd. It feels great when children start “getting it.” Our church has VBS around the corner, and I’m in charge of storytelling/teaching, so maybe I will experience that. 🙂

      Like

  5. I guess I’ve never thought of it before and just saw it as reverence to God, but I think you are right it does hope to focus. This past Sunday there was a powerful preaching of prayer. One of the many things that stood out in the preaching was from Matthew 6:6
    ‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen…’. The preacher mentioned that although sometimes we close the door physically we don’t close it mentally and are not focusing on our prayer because we have do many other things on our mind. My prayer life is something I’m trying to work on and this was great:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you could relate, Jessy! I like how the verse you mentioned speaks to intimacy. God is God of all, yet he knows each one of us, and our relationship with Him is individual, so we don’t need anyone or anything else to talk to Him…just us alone with our broken spirits and repentant hearts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good post-Lily. I’m in the midst of writing a book focused on prayer and you’re spot on concerning how prayer isn’t always easy for us and that our physical posturing can assist our spiritual posture as we approach the mighty throne of God.

    Liked by 1 person

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