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Prayer Posture

Prayer Posture

Before we open our lips and say a single word to God, we have to discover the proper posture. For that, we turn to David, who has more prayers recorded in the Bible than anyone else (by a long shot). Today’s passage from Psalm 46 is attributed to the sons of Korah, a shorthand title for the crew David gathered for night and day prayer in the tabernacle. From that community come these famous words: 

Be still, and know that I am God.

Prayer starts there.

“Be still.” The Latin term is vacate, from which we get the English word vacation. The invitation of prayer anytime, anywhere is this: Take a vacation. Stop playing God over your own life for a moment. Release control. Return to the created order.

You and I see the world with our own two eyes, and from that minuscule perspective, we tend to convince ourselves that we are (or at least should be) in control, directing our own lives, and scripting our future. Prayer is how we reorient ourselves, or as Philip Yancey said, “Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view.”

Almost everyone who recites Psalm 46 stops with the opening line, but that’s not where the sons of Korah stopped. The Psalm continues by explaining what will happen when we find stillness: 

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

That’s the destination of this prayer, the promise we become aware of in holy stillness.

“Exalted in the earth” means God’s presence becomes reality, plainly visible. It means love breaks out everywhere there is hate. Kindness floods competition and sweeps it away. Peace swallows up fear. Joy washes over jealousy. Self-control calms rage. Here’s the way God promises to get all that done: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Be still. Remember who God is. Remember who you are. Then do your best to live without getting the order mixed up. That’ll be enough. That’s where you start changing, and as a result, the world around you starts changing too.

To Practice: Take a moment — just a minute or two will be fine — to be still before the Lord. Posture is important in silent prayer, so find a comfortable and honest posture of prayer. Begin by simply praying, “Be still and know that I am God.” Then, simply wait, surrendering to God in the silence.

Watch the Trailer for the Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools study.

Written for FaithGateway by Tyler Staton, author of Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools.

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Your Turn

Let’s take that moment now and remember who we are and who God is. Let’s be still for a little bit and surrender to Him. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you.