Friday, January 08, 2010

Vulnerable Prayer Positions

A couple months ago I attended a body language class. It was all about what our body language says about us, and how to read it to find out what a person is really thinking or saying. One of the things mentioned was that a lot of times, people (men especially) will cross their hands in front of them so that they come to rest in front of the groin area (see photo below). This is often a sign of vulnerability, the man is feeling particularly vulnerable (this could be for a variety of reasons).

Another body language sign is the lowering of the chin. Lowering the chin in such a manner that the throat is covered, or protected. This is often a sign of defensiveness, weakness, and also vulnerability (protecting the vulnerable throat area). Also, as the head lowers, the eyes also lower, suggesting submission.
I noticed that during my prayer times, whether public or private, my body seems to naturally want to float into these positions. I also noticed, during prayer at church (I know I shouldn't be looking around), that a lot of other people are in these positions as well.
What if there's more to our "prayer position". Think about it, when we pray we are going before a righteous, sinless, almighty God, and we are bringing to Him praise, and petition. This God, can see us for who and what we really are, He can see our faults, sins, and weaknesses. What an incredibly vulnerable position we are put into! Naturally our bodies, float to protect the most vulnerable areas.
Our heads bow, out of respect, but could it also be out of some defensiveness. As we witness the face of God, our weakness and humanness is revealed. Our bodies fall into a state of defensiveness in the knowledge that it is impossible for us to live up to the righteousness of God.
Finally, realizing our vulnerability (crossing the hands, protecting the vulnerable areas), and seeing our weakness (bowing our heads in a defensive posture), our eyes are lowered in submission to our great God and Saviour.
The most amazing thing of all is that in spite of our human weakness, in spite of our faults, in spite of our inability to even come close to the righteousness of God, in spite of all this; our Almighty, all knowing, God, the God that nothing is hidden from, this Great God, still stops,listens to, and answer our prayers. He gladly, accepts our prayers of worship, praise, and adoration. But, He also hears our petitions. He see's our weak, vulnerable positions, He knows that without Him we are nothing. He answers our prayers, He responds to our pleading.

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