The Posture of Prayer


This week at If: Catalyst Lab, I was talking with a friend about something and I thought, hmm, I’d like to expand this conversation and hear what you guys have to say.  We were talking about prayer and getting with God, and I struggle with that sometimes, and I wonder if anyone can relate?

For years now, in a lot of different ways, I’ve been telling God that I can get my body where it needs to be but He’s going to have to do the rest.

-I can get my body on that stage to talk about the orphans who need sponsors, but he has to show up and calm me down and speak through me.

-I can get my body to the youth retreat, but he’s going to have to infuse me with energy and the ability to focus on the students when I just want to curl up on my couch and put my feet up after a long week.

-I can get my body to the mom date to hang out with a new friend, but he has to pour his love through me into her, cuz I feel a little raw and unloving and unlovable at the moment.

-I can get my body into bed to reconnect with my husband, but God’s going to have to meet me there, because after the kids tugging on me all day, I have no desire to be touched by another human being, much less pull off sexiness.

Sometimes it seems that my part is to get my body where it needs to be and trust God to empower me in the moment, because on any given weekday when I’m juggling all the things, I don’t feel like I have a lot to offer.

And he does.  He continues to meet me and work in and through me, even when I feel like a shell of a woman.

The same is true for prayer.  Sometimes I don’t want to pray.  Or I feel like it won’t do any good, that maybe I’m just talking to myself, that I can’t quiet my mind enough to hear the small, still voice of my savior.

I want to act like I’m this fantastic praying superhero, but the truth is, my mind is easily distracted and sometimes I just don’t “feel it” with God.  Because of my tendency to get up inside my head and unable to focus on things like holiness and abiding in his presence, I practice the posture of prayer.

So I spend time with my face on the floor.  I can get my body into a posture of prayer, of submission, of readiness to receive.  I can’t guarantee that my brain will be there, but I press forehead and knees into carpet and extend an invitation.

God, come.

Sometimes when I’m kneeling I repeat back to him all the things he’s teaching me about himself.  God, you’re holy.  I can trust you.  You’re gracious.  You don’t change.  Nothing surprises you.  You are love.

How about you?  In your crowded, busy life, with very little space between thoughts and demands, how do you get with God?  What are you learning about that?


image from Alejandro Hernandez at

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  • Jennifer Wilcox Knott

    I so get this. I’m in an overwhelming season of “acting my way into a new way of thinking.” There are many aspects of my life where the body is moving in the right direction but the head and heart are racing to catch up. Spending time with God daily is certainly one of them. These days, I’m having to drag myself out of bed, put feet on the floor, and stumble to the sofa before the sun comes up to do it. Sometimes I just sit there in the silence. Other times, I have a lot to talk with God about. But either way, I’m realizing my days are better when I spend that time on the sofa trying to commune with God. I think that’s evidence that God is meeting me where I am even when I don’t necessarily “feel” His presence or have the most eloquent prayers to pray to Him. I’m finding that good old fashioned obedience can spiral into so much more over time.

    • Melanie Dale

      Jennifer, I can so relate to this. “The body is moving in the right direction but the head and heart are racing to catch up.” Mmm. He is meeting us where we are, yep.

  • Niki

    I, too, struggle with remembering to pray. To make it a priority, I have a prayer spot…a point on the way to drop off or pick up my son from preschool, where the road rises and the top of the mountain is framed by the changing leaves on the trees…a visual reminder that it’s time to “get with God”. Sometimes I have something specific to say; sometimes I try to hear what He has to say to me. I’m learning that I feel a “nudge” whenever He has something He wants me to share or say. I feel the same “nudge” when something happens or is said to which He wants me to pay particular attention. I don’t *always* remember to do it; but, like Jennifer, I feel better whenever I do.

    • Melanie Dale

      I love that you have a spot on the road, a visual reminder! Niki, that’s really cool. And yes to nudges and being tuned in enough to listen to them.

  • Sara Newberry Harms

    this is so good! so honest, and so true to how i feel!

    • Melanie Dale

      Glad to know I’m not alone!

  • Ashley

    Wow, I needed this. This was awesome. THANK YOU!

    • Melanie Dale

      You’re so welcome! :)

  • Laura M

    Beautiful post, Melanie. I have never tried this before. Probably I should. I have been thinking lately about my prayer life, and when I really boil it down, I’m torn. I’m SUCH an introvert. I don’t talk to my parents all that often. And I kind of feel like I’m that same way with God. I don’t talk to Him much because I don’t talk to anyone I’m not face-to-face with much. It never seems like a good reason/excuse/alternative in my head, but that’s where I am right now. Trying to figure out how I can change it.

    • Melanie Dale

      Wow! This is such interesting insight into connecting with God and others as an introvert. I’ve never thought about the face-to-face issue. Mmm…let me know what you figure out.

  • Paula Claunch

    I love this. Just stinking love it.

  • Allison B

    I can totally relate when you talked about being easily distracted and getting into your head while praying. I find my thoughts wandering a lot when talking to God! When I have prayed on my knees I feel a focus that I lack when just sitting at my kitchen table or laying in my bed. Thanks for this wonderful post and reminder! I needed it : )





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