Let me say from the outset that it is very fitting to “fall or bow down” before God. It is a posture showing respect and reverence to the One who alone deserves it. The day is coming when even unbelievers will be prostrated before the Lord, for we read in Philippians 2:10, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” This was foreshadowed in the Garden of Gethsemane when His enemies came to arrest Him. In John 18:4 Jesus asked them, “Whom seek ye?” and when He replied in verse 5, “I am He,” we see in verse 6 that “they went backward, and fell to the ground.” They were compelled, in the presence of God manifest in the flesh, to prostrate themselves to the ground!

I have always marveled when reading the account of Solomon dedicating the new temple in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 6:12 tells us that “he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands.” Here is the greatest king that ever lived, standing before tens of thousands of his royal subjects, yet he knew he was also standing before the “King of kings” and thus he spreads his hands to pray. But before he utters one word, he humbles himself even further, for verse 13 reveals that he “kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands towards heaven.” Surely Solomon felt, in his heart of hearts, that God deserved to be bowed down to and it wasn’t until he finished his rather long prayer that we read, in 1 Kings 8:54 that “he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.” Every word that ascended to heaven was accompanied by Solomon bowing down to the One who is worthy of our humble reverence and worship.

This posture won’t change when we get to heaven, for we read in Revelation 4:10 that “the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat upon the throne, and worship Him that liveth forever and ever.” In Revelation 5 we are surrounding our Savior, the Lamb of God, and there again we read, in verse 8, that the “four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb.” He is worthy of this humble act and we will gladly prostrate ourselves before Him!

We have learned just how important it is to fall down before the Lord in prayer, but we must ask, “Is it necessary?” Do we have to adopt this posture in order to pray effectively and for God to hear us? The answer is a resounding “No.” There are handicapped believers that are incapable of this bodily position. But God knows their hearts; they would if they could! In their case they are “bowing their hearts” before Him and that’s just as important as the “bowing of their knees.”

And then there are times when we who aren’t handicapped need to pray but circumstances prevent us from kneeling. You may recall the beautiful story of Nehemiah standing before the king of Babylon and he was so burdened that he prayed silently while standing. Nehemiah 2:4 says, “Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.” Did God hear Nehemiah’s prayer? Yes He did! Though he STOOD, perhaps with HIS EYES OPEN, God heard his prayer and gave him the request of his heart! We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing,” which means we should always be ready to pray, and there will doubtless be many times that we won’t be on bended knee before God. Yet He sees the “posture of our heart”; if our hearts are right HE WILL HEAR US! (171.10) (DO)