There are a number of examples given throughout the Bible of physical actions being taken in conjunction with prayer.
Jesus, at times, looked toward the heavens and prayed as he did during the resurrection of Lazarus. “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.” (John 11:41) Another account where Jesus “lifted up his eyes” is given in John 17:1: “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.”Jesus in the garden is described as falling on his face and praying. “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed,” (Matthew 26:39)

In the book of Daniel, we discover that King Nebuchadnezzar, after being exiled from men, realized his mistakes and turned to the God of Daniel by looking up toward heaven. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and Honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation.” (Daniel 4:34)

King Solomon is described as lifting his hands toward heaven during his prayer. “And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:” (I Kings 8:22)

Following David’s prayer at the dedication of the future temple, the people bowed down their heads. “And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.” (I Chronicles 29:20)

David is portrayed as sitting before the LORD in II Samuel 7:18 “Then went King David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?”

At another time, when praying for his sick child, David is described as fasting and lying all night on the ground. “David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.” (II Samuel 12:16)

King Hezekiah is illustrated as turning his face against the wall and weeping. “Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.”(II Kings 20:2-3)

Gideon gives us the example of putting out a fleece. God had allowed the children of Israel to become impoverished at the hand of the Midianites because of their rejection of him. When they cried out to God, the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon and informed him that he was going to use Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites. Gideon had a difficult time believing that God was going to use him to save Israel and he prayed. “And Gideon said unto God. If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor: and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou has said.” (Judges 6:36-37) In the morning Gideon was able to wring a bowl of water out to the rag and the floor around it was dry, but Gideon still had doubts so he again prayed to God. “And Gideon said unto God. Let not then anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.” (Judges 6:39) Gideon was convinced the following morning when the cloth was dry but the ground was damp. Gideon then, with God’s help and only three hundred men, was able to destroy the entire enemy.

When that unusual character Elijah prayed for rain on Mount Carmel he sat on the ground and placed his head between his knees. “So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,” (I Kings 18:42)

There were times when Jesus and others knelt to pray. Just before his crucifixion, it is written that Jesus kneeled to pray. “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,”(Luke 22:41)

Steven, as he was being stoned to death, knelt to pray. “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep”. (Acts 7:59-60)

Peter when he prayed for the life of the young girl Tabitha, sent the others out of the room and kneeled to pray. “But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise.” (Acts 9:40)

Kneeling in prayer managed to get Daniel into a difficult situation. King Darius appointed Daniel, because of his excellent spirit, to be the top president out of three he had chosen to rule the entire kingdom. The other presidents and princes were jealous and attempted to find some fault in Daniel. They could not find any charge against him, so they agreed that the only thing they could use against Daniel would have to involve his faith and the law of God. They concocted a scheme by persuading the king to make a decree that who ever asks anything of any god or man other than King Darius for thirty days should be thrown to the lions, because they knew Daniel would worship his God. Daniel, as expected, paid no attention to the decree. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” (Daniel 6:10) The king was reluctantly forced to have Daniel thrown into the lion’s den, but God closed the mouths of the lions and Daniel was spared.

The apostle Paul developed a deep and lasting bond with the leaders of the church at Ephesus. When it came time for him to leave them, he said to them in verse 22 of Chapter 20 in the book of Acts, “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:” and continuing in verse 25 he said to them, “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.” After speaking with them for the last time they knelt and prayed together. “And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,” Acts 20:36 and 37

Another time, before leaving the disciples in Tyre, Paul knelt and prayed with them on the beach. “And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.” (Acts 21:5)

God’s prophetic words concerning kneeling in the book of Isaiah are noteworthy. He promises that the day will come when all mankind will kneel before him. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” (Isaiah 45:22-23)

Paul repeats the same promise in the book of Romans. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:11)

In addition, it is written in the book of Philippians concerning Jesus, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in the earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11


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