Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”
Exploring: Bowing Low, Prostrate with Hands Flat – Submitting
I Chronicles 29:20 – Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the LORD your God.” So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king.
I Kings 18:38-39 – (Elijah) Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD – he is God! The LORD – he is God!”
As we worship, we recognize His holiness (and our unworthiness) and we bow low before a God who is worthy to be honored. In the Ancient Near East, a vassal treaty was a treaty between two kings – one more powerful than the other. The lesser king presented himself as a vassal by bowing low before the more powerful king. To prostrate oneself before another is an act of worship, and the vassal treaty is the picture of worship the Israelites would picture in their minds when they worshiped Yahweh. The Hebrew word is hishtacheveh, which relates to Greek word (proskuneo) that means kissing toward. But it is not an upward intimate kiss toward God, but a kissing the dirt or feet of God. The theological meaning is that God is the more powerful king and we are the less powerful king.
Psalm 95:6-7 – Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
As we bow down in worship before God, we come under his care. We are his people. He watches over us as a shepherd watches over his sheep, not letting a single one fall away.
Putting It Into Practice
This posture can be done kneeling or laying prostrate (face down with legs extended straight). It can also be done seated at a chair in front of a table, extending the upper part of your upper body across the tabletop as you see demonstrated in this photo. And as you can see from the photo at the very top, one of my favorite places to bow down before God is on my paddleboard on the water. The gentle rocking of the board and sound of the water brings me great peace. You really can worship God just about anywhere!
As you bow down in worship today, take a moment to understand the “bigness” or transcendence of God in your mind first – his sovereignty and power. Lying prostrate before the Lord is often one of the most difficult postures of prayer to practice. My friend Michelle Thielen calls this posture “eating dust bunnies.” And often, our pride keeps us from this position of humility. We must press through our pride in order to worship him fully. Yet there in that place, God will meet you in powerful ways. Bow down low, prostrate yourself, before him as Lord with hands flat on the ground. In that place of submission, allow yourself to enter into the intimate care of God.
EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise
In this “Embodied” series, we are exploring postures of prayer and praise, in order to live a more fully embodied life. You can find the full explanation here, as well as links to all postures below:
EMBODIED DAY 1 :: Hands Raised
EMBODIED DAY 2 :: Palms Down
EMBODIED DAY 3 :: Palms Up
EMBODIED DAY 4 :: Hands Together
EMBODIED DAY 5 :: Hands to Heart
EMBODIED DAY 6 :: Hands Flat (Prostrate)
EMBODIED DAY 7 :: Hands Clapping
You can also find the full Embodied feature translated to Spanish here: EMBODIED Spanish Posturas de oración y adoración
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. Also as we journey together, feel free to share your experience by commenting here or Facebook or Instagram. I welcome your thoughts and observations.
Thank you for joining the journey!
Blessings of ARTistry, CREATivity & BEaUty, Jody
(C) 2018 Jody Thomae
Jody Thomae is the author of God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You and The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful, both in-depth, interactive devotional books that are part of the Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within series and serve as resources for creative Christians, artists, and lovers of beauty and worship. Jody has been involved in worship arts ministry since 1997, serving as worship arts ministry pastor, worship leader and creative arts director. She leads worship at local seminars, retreats and women’s events and is a guest lecturer on creativity, embodiment, and spirituality with Healing Care Ministries and HCM International. Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and the use of creativity in formational and healing ministry. It is her desire to portray the message of Christ’s desperate and unfailing love for His people to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. She is particularly interested in the reclamation of the body in the healing of trauma and works in the area of embodiment with survivors of abuse, addiction, and trauma.
The Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within series includes her first book, God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You and her new release, The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful. Print and digital copies (Kindle) are available through Amazon. Signed print copies are available for purchase through Square where her resources are available most affordably (and in bulk amounts for your creative ministry team or group study). Jody’s devotional CD, Song of the Beloved, is also available through Square, iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and other music outlets.