Positions of Prayer (Part 2) "Laying Flat Down or Prostrate"
Should you be active in 'normal' church prayer these columns may be almost too radical. For those not accustomed to tradition it will be much easier for you to comprehend.
I believe most of you will be shocked at what the Bible really teaches on this subject.
I am going to let God and His Word speak for itself. What you are going to see is what the Bible really says about the positions of prayer. I am going to give over the next week or two 'every' time a position of prayer is mentioned in the Bible. Should I miss any that you find in the Bible then please e-mail me and I will make the corrections. The problem is very simple. Many times when someone is praying there is no mention of what position he or she is in. Are they walking or kneeling or what?
The second problem is that many times when a person is praying the word 'prayer' is not used. So you must read the entire Bible and discover every time a person prays does the Bible say anything about the physical position of the body. I have gone through every passage in the Bible and tried to discover every time a position is described. This has been an unreal task! But I have loved every hour of studying the Bible to find these. I know you will be blessed with this effort.
I have a PC Bible on my computer and have done more searches. I want to say this is my search and I may have missed some of the positions mentioned in the Bible. So should you find other scriptures please let me know.
Also I have searched the subject on the Internet and in all my books and have found little written on the subject. I have not found anywhere where anyone has totaled the total number of each position of prayer or any list of all of the positions. I am sure someone has done this I just am not aware of it. Should you find any such information I would love to read it? I do not claim to be doing something unique but I just cannot find anything comprehensive on the subject.
At the end of this study I will have given you every instance of every position of prayer in the Bible! From this you can look at your life and make your own decisions. I trust this revelation will cause you and me to check out our prayer life and conform ourselves to the Word of God and not to culture and tradition.
In the next week or two I will post the wonderful e-mails that I have received from all around the world as you responded and spoke of your favorite positions of prayer. You still have time to e-mail and share your ideas and inspiration.
As I stated in the first column on this subject, this is not a teaching about how to pray or what to pray about. This is simply about the positions of prayer as given in the Bible.
“Laying face down or prostrate"
131 times: 'Laying face down or prostrate' in relation to prayer or speaking with God.
This includes many times that the word prostrate is not used but the person is on their face or laying down etc.
256 times the word prostrate is used in the Bible. Most of these are times when one prostrates himself or herself before a king or someone of great importance. This was the common way of respect and to honor someone. People were very familiar with this word and position.
There is no question as to the meaning of the word in Hebrew in the Old Testament or Greek in the New Testament, however translators have sought to use different words in English to interpret the word.
The only Bible that I know that seeks always to use the correct Hebrew or Greek word 'all' the time is the Heritage Bible. It can be found on the web at: http://www.cathedraluniversity.com/heritagebible/index.asp
Dr. Gwin Turner is also on my board of directors. He lets the Bible word say what it says and does not interpret it for you.
Here we will just let the scripture say what is says.
7812 shachah (shaw-khaw'); a primitive root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God):
King James Version-- bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
Greek 4352 proskuneo (pros-koo-neh'-o); From 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):
King James Version-- worship. You can see that the King James Version of the Bible uses 8 different English words to express different meanings or positions for the same word. I just want us to look at the Bible and see exactly what is says in the original Hebrew or Greek and 'then' you can seek it's meaning.
Please read each verse and let God speak to you. Praying face down and prostrate!
(New King James in normal print. The Heritage Bible in Italic .)
Genesis 17:3 “Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him."
Genesis 17:17-18 “Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God'
Genesis 18:2-3 “And when he saw, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and prostrated himself upon the earth, And said, My Lord.'
Genesis 19:1 “And there came two heavenly messengers to Sodom at dusk, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom; and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he prostrated himself with his nostrils to the earth.'
Genesis 24:26 “And the man bowed his head, and prostrated himself to Jehovah.'
Genesis 24:48 “And I bowed, and prostrated myself to Jehovah, and I blessed Jehovah.'
Genesis 24:52 “And when Abraham's servant heard their words, he prostrated himself to the earth to Jehovah.'
Genesis 48: 12 “And Joseph brought them out from his knees, and he prostrated himself with his nostrils to the earth.'
Exodus 4:31 “And the people believed; and when they attentively heard that Jehovah had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their misery, then they bowed, and prostrated themselves.'
Exodus 5:31 “And the people believed; and when they attentively heard that Jehovah had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their misery, then they bowed, and prostrated themselves.'
Exodus 12:27 “And you shall say, It is the sacrifice of Jehovah's Passover, who skipped over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians, and snatched our houses out. And the people bowed, and prostrated themselves.'
Exodus 24:1 “And he said to Moses, Come up to Jehovah, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and prostrate yourselves afar off.'
Exodus 33:10 “All the people rose up and prostrated themselves, every man in his tent door. And Jehovah spoke.'
Exodus 34: 8 “And Moses mad haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and prostrated himself.'
Exodus 34: 14 “Because you shall prostrate yourself to no other god, because Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.'
Leviticus 9:24 “Fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
Numbers 16:22-23 “Then they fell on their faces, and said, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?" So the LORD spoke to Moses'
Numbers 16:44-45 “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment." And they fell on their faces.'
Numbers 20:6 “So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them.'
Numbers 22:31 “And Jehovah uncovered the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the Messenger of Jehovah stationed in the road, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed down, and fell prostrate on his nostrils.'
Deuteronomy 26:10 “The face of Jehovah, your God, and prostrate yourself before the Face of Jehovah, your God.'
Joshua 6:14-15 “And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and prostrated himself to him, and said to him, What does my Lord say to his servant? And the Commander of Jehovah's host said to Joshua, Pull off your shoe from your foot, because the place on which you stand is holy'
Joshua 7:6 “Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.'
Joshua 7:10 “So the LORD said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?
Judges 13:20-22 “It happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar-- the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD. And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!"
1 Samuel 1:3, "this man ascended out of his city from days to days to prostrate himself and to sacrifice to Jehovah of hosts."
1 Samuel 1: 19 “And they loaded up early in the dawn, and prostrated themselves before the face of Jehovah.'
1 Samuel 1: 28 “And he prostrated himself to Jehovah there.'
1 Samuel 15:25 “That I may prostrate myself to Jehovah your God.'
1 Samuel 15:30 “Turn back with me, that I may prostrate myself to Jehovah your God.'
1 Samuel 16:31 “Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul prostrated himself to Jehovah.'
2 Samuel 12:16 “David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.'
2 Samuel 12:20 “And David rose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his clothes, and came into the house of Jehovah, and prostrated himself.'
I Kings 18:39 “Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!"
I King 18:42 And Ahab went up to eat and to drink, and Elijah went up to the head of Carmel; and he prostrated himself on the earth, and put his face between his knees.
2 Kings 17:36 “But Jehovah who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him you shall fear, and to him you shall prostrate yourselves, and to him you shall sacrifice.'
1 Chronicles 16:29 “Give to Jehovah the heavy glory of his name; lift up a food offering, and come before his face; prostrate yourselves to Jehovah in the beauty of holiness.'
2 Chronicles 20:18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his nostrils to the ground, and all Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the face of Jehovah, prostrating themselves to Jehovah.
1 Chronicles 21:16 “Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces.'
1 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.'
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