What keeps you on your knees?
A couple of weekends ago I heard a member in our congregation say to some other members of the congregation, who had recently been in the hospital, “You guys are keeping me on my knees.” I smiled as I got the mental image of the praying brother kneeling in prayer and starting to get up only to be driven back to his knees to pray some more. And as I walked away I thought what a loving act of brotherly love. Then I got to thinking….what keeps us on our knees? What keeps me on my knees? What are we so in desperate need of that we will take the time to bow down and pray? I know that we pray at all times in all situations and in all positions. But what keeps us on our knees? What is so important to us that we are constantly driven back to prayer over it? What are we SO desperate for that we are on our knees? Is it praying for those who we know of who have a need? Are we on our knees praying those intercession types of prayers – where we are praying for other’s needs, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually? Are we praying for those in our circles who are sick? What about those who are financially hurting? Who have lost a job or maybe lost their way. Are we on our knees for those who are desperately seeking to find what is missing in their lives, but looking everywhere – EXCEPT in Christ? Do we desperately want those we know to grow in their relationship with the Lord? One of the great intercession prayers of the bible is for that growing relationship in the Lord. Philippians 1:9-11 tells us Paul’s prayer: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”
Are you kept on your knees over your own struggles or needs? Sometimes, I think, we feel guilty if we spend too much time thinking about our own needs. And while I don’t want any of us – especially me becoming so self-focused – self-centered that I forget about the rest of the world around me, it is important to spend time on our knees for ourselves. We are the only ones who truly know where our fears and failures are hidden. We are the only one who knows how deeply the pain is coming from the current struggles. We are the only one who knows our hopes for the future. There are things that only we and the Lord can talk over in prayer – on our knees. We even see Jesus in prayer – on his knees. From Luke 22: 39-44 “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Don’t be afraid to be driven to your knees over your own hopes or needs or struggles or fears.
Finally one last thought. Are we ever driven to our knees just because we love the Lord? If we truly believe the greatest commandment is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”….then wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that once in a while (at least) we would be driven to our knees purely out of love and praise for our Lord?
I am grateful for our praying brother who gave us the image to think about for a while, of being on our knees. Whether we are physically able to actually spend time on our knees or we are sitting in our favorite chair resting in God’s presence, I am thankful to be a part of a praying congregation who will be in desperate prayer for one another, ourselves and in order to spend time with the greatest love we can have.