Three ministers were engaged in a conversation on the subject of prayer. Naturally, they all agreed that prayer was vital, but the debate was about which bodily position works best for praying. As they commented back and forth, a telephone repairman, who happened to be in the room that day working on the phone system, listened quietly.
One minister said, “In my opinion, the position of the hands is the key to praying. I always clasp mine together. This helps focus my attention. Also, I make sure that my joined hands are pointed upward toward heaven. This is a symbolic act indicating that I want my prayers to rise to God’s ears.
The second minister said, “Well, I’ll grant you that praying with your hands clasped together and pointed upward makes sense, but these things should be done while the person is on their knees. Praying on your knees shows that you are approaching God in humility. It’s actually an act of worship because you are kneeling before Him as you pray.”
The third minister said, “No, no, you are both wrong. The best position for praying is lying completely prostrate upon the floor, with your face on the ground. Praying from that position is you saying to God, “Lord, I am nothing, and You are everything. I don’t even have a right to gain an audience with you. Because of your mercy and grace, though, I humbly submit my request.”
At that point the repairman thought he might have something to add to the conversation. He said, “Gentlemen, I hate to interrupt men such as yourselves when you are debating a topic as important as this one, but if you are interested I’ll tell you the position I was in when I prayed my most emotional and powerful prayer.” Suddenly the repairman had the ministers’ full attention, and they replied almost in unison, “Yes, please tell us. We’d love to hear it.” The repairman said, “Okay. At the moment I prayed the best prayer I have ever prayed in my life, I was dangling upside down by my heels from a telephone pole, suspended forty feet off the ground!”
The moral of this story is simple: Genuine need in your life leads to genuine praying. Show me a person who is praying a canned prayer they’ve heard the pastor pray in church, and I’ll show you a person who doesn’t have a genuine need. The fact is, when things get serious in your life, your praying will get serious.
I don’t know where this short little post finds you, but if some problem, situation, or circumstance currently has you dangling upside down by your heels, feeling like you are suspended forty feet off the ground and ready to drop to your demise, I advise you to pray. You say, “But I’ve already prayed about it, and nothing has happened.” Fine, then pray again, and again, and again, and again. Keep praying until something does happen.
If you like praying with your hands clasped together and pointed toward heaven, then pray from that position. If you like praying from bent knees, then pray from that position. If you like praying from a prostrate position on the floor, then pray from that position. If you like praying with your eyes closed, then pray from that position. If you like praying while you are lying in bed at night, then pray from that position. If you like praying while you are walking, then pray from that position. If you like praying while you are driving, then pray from that position. (Of course, I wouldn’t suggest praying with your eyes closed from those last two positions.) But you get the point. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Why? Because the best position for genuine praying will always be a position of genuine need.