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?