Four kinds of prayer posture and position in the Bible

People in the Bible stood while praying, many knelt, and some prayed to God while sitting. A person's prayer position is a matter of personal and cultural preference. God hears the prayers of His children, and a person's heart and motive are more important than posture.

Four kinds of prayer posture and position in the Bible

The Bible does not command a specific pose or position for prayer. Therefore, it does not mean that when we kneel or stand up, our prayers will be heard more. God looks at the heart and weighs our motives (Proverbs 21:2-3). Ultimately, the Lord hears a righteous man’s prayer (James 5:16).

Examples of how people in the Bible prayed to God

1. Standing up while praying

1 Kings 8:22 | Solomon
Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread his hands toward heaven.

Nehemiah 9:5 | The Levites
They stood up and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.

Mark 11:25 | Jesus
Whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone.


2. Sat and prayed

Genesis 18:1 | Abraham
The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 

1 Chronicles 17:18 | David
King David went into (the palace) and sat before the Lord, and he said.


3. Knelt to pray

Daniel 6:10 | Daniel
He returned to his upstairs room, where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day, he knelt and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

1 Kings 8:54 | Solomon
When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.

Luke 22:41 | Jesus
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt, and prayed.

Acts 7:60 |Stephen
He fell on his knees and cried, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.

Acts 20:36 | Paul
He knelt with all of them and prayed.

Acts 21:5 | The apostles
And we knelt on the shore and prayed.


4. Face flat on the ground or prostate

Genesis 17:3 | Abraham
Abram fell facedown and Goto him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.’

Numbers 16:22 | Moses and Aaron
O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?

Joshua 5:14 | Joshua
Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’

Matthew 26:39 | Jesus
He fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, it is possible; may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’

Revelation 1:17 | John
He fell at his feet as though dead (upon seeing the glorified Jesus)


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