Monday, January 30, 2017

THE POSTURE OF PRAYER


Does the posture [of prayer] matter? Blaise Pascal, a devout believer and one of the truly great minds of human history, reasoned that it did. In Pensees he wrote, "The external must be joined to the internal to obtain anything from God, that is to say, we must kneel, pray with our lips, etc., in order that proud man, who would not submit himself to God, may now be subject to the Creator. To expect help from these externals is superstition; to refuse to join them to the internal is pride." Pascal's distinction is a penetrating one. Thinking that our posture wins favor with God or that it ensures an answer to prayer reduces prayer to magic; however, if we refuse to place ourselves under some particular, reasonable physical discipline, our pride can separate us from God...

The posture is an aid to the specific mood of prayer. See for yourself how the mood changes as the posture changes. Sit and pray, and prayer takes on a conversational quality. Stand, and you feel you are making an appearance before the King. Lift your hands, and a special sense of adoration engulfs your prayer. Put your head down, and you feel awe, humility, perhaps even shame; lift your head, and there is a sense of glad openness, to a point where unconsciously you may smile...

The wrong posture for a given occasion can impede prayer, whereas the right posture aids in our reach to God.

-- J. Ellsworth Kalas in Longing to Pray: How the Psalms Teach Us to Talk with God


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1 comment:

  1. I appreciate this one so much, but they are all so helpful.
    Thank you for your daily ministry.
    Diane

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