Humility is such a wonderful trait, especially when it seems like one might have every reason in the flesh to be full of pride. In Acts chapter 20:36, we read that “When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.” We read again here in Acts 21 the acts of Paul getting on his knees to pray. It is an act of humility, as we humble ourselves before the Lord.
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“When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.” – Acts 21:5
When I think about Paul going with everyone to the beach, to pray, I don’t look at this as ceremony. And when we talk about kneeling in church today, I don’t think about this as ceremony. Nor do I ever want to kneel before the Lord, out of compliance or routine. I want to kneel before the Lord, because I want to – in humility, with honest, true, heart-felt, and because of my deep appreciation, and deep love for him. We’ve all had at least hints of this at some point in our lives when we’ve curled up with our mom or dad when we were children, or maybe with our spouse. This is an act of true love, not of routine.
How do you think that your spouse or significant other would feel about you telling them, “well I kissed you because I felt it was the right thing to do.” No we do it because we wanted to do nothing more. There is a difference when it comes from the heart. That is what we would want from someone else, and that is what God wants from us. He doesn’t want us to kneel before him because we are just following along because everyone else is doing it or because we feel that it is right.
That being said, maybe kneeling before the Lord for you is a little awkward, or maybe it’s not heart-felt. Maybe you are one of those people burnt out on church imposed, family imposed, ceremonial traditions, and turned off and tired of the judgement, of the expectation, of the compliance. Or maybe this is brand new to you and if it’s a bit awkward I’m not surprised. I remember that the first time that I kneeled before God outside of the walls of the church it was a little awkward for me too. But the next time you are alone, when no one is around and no one is watching, do yourself a favor and kneel before the Lord and pray. Ask God to touch your heart, tell him that you surrender fully to him, and ask God to begin His work in you. But just make it between you and God. That is what matters. That is what prayer is, a conversation between you and God. And if it is physically difficult or uncomfortable, try kneeling and putting your face down to the floor – it is easier on the knees and back and much more comfortable.
God knows your heart. He desires to be with you. He loves you. He wants to be with you. And if you are on the fence about God, I encourage you to try to talk to God in this way. There is something about kneeling before the Lord, that opens a heart, that opens the door, that opens the mind, that opens us up to God. My wish for you, is that you know God, and your relationship grows with Him in such a way that you know this love, and want to kneel before Him. To be held in His arms, and be loved like that.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your awesome Word. Thank you for your awesome love. We come to you today with open hearts. We ask that you begin a work in us, that builds a love that we want more than anything else. Let us be that close to You. Wrap your arms around us Lord, protect us, bless us, be with us all the day through. Make our hearts, our minds, our lives new. We want to be that close to you. We love You Lord, and give all honor and glory to You, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Leviticus 23,24; Psalm 24; Acts 21
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