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February 10, 2024 – The Posture of Prayer

How should we approach the throne of Yahweh?

How would we be expected to approach the President of the United States? How would we approach our boss at work or the head of the organization we work for? How do we approach people we look up to? It has been instilled in us since we were old enough to learn right from wrong that we are to respect our elders and those in positions of authority. Even if we don’t respect the person in authority, we are taught to respect the office they hold.

Why is it then that we would approach a Holy God more causally than we would a person who is not God? Thankfully the veil was torn when Jesus died and through His blood, we were given direct access to the Father. We should not mistake direct access for a casual relationship. We should approach the Father with reverence, respect, and humility. It is easy to approach Him as our Heavenly Father, but we need not forget that he is God, first and foremost.

Exodus 3:1-6, “1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock tothe far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

How do we approach God on Sunday morning?

I am a generally impatient person. I was raised by the principle that you are either early or you are late. You are never on time. If you are on time, you are late. That applies to Sunday morning. I am typically ready for Church at least 30 minutes before the rest of my family. We live 7 minutes from Church, but can rarely seem to get into the sanctuary before the first song starts. There have been many times when I enter the building frustrated (or bitter) that we are (once again) late. Yet I (think that I) just “flip a switch” in my posture and am ready to worship my Lord and Savior. I need to get right with the Lord before I can truly worship Him.

James 1:19-20, “19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

How do we approach Him in prayer?

What is the posture of our prayers? I typically start with thanksgiving and then roll into petitions and requests. Where is my penitence? I don’t always (OK, seldomly) confess my sins to God. I know He knows what they are, and I know that the blood of Jesus has covered them all, but I still need to acknowledge them specifically. Am I asking for forgiveness while having unforgiveness towards another in my heart?

Matthew 6:5-8, 14-15, “5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

I feel there are some things in the non-Evangelical liturgy that we can glean from. While we don’t want to recite “canned prayers” blindly and casually, these can be helpful in setting our posture if we recite them sincerely. The Church I grew up in recited the Confession of Sins in each service, but it was just words to me at the time. Partly because I had simply committed it to memory, but mostly because I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Having a personal relationship with Jesus, I think the Confession of Sins is a beautiful and contrite prayer that can help set our posture when approaching our Lord in prayer.

Confession of Sins

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name.

Pause for a moment. Read it again, but this time, meditate on it and make it your prayer. When I do, I notice my posture change. How true are the following statements?

• I have sinned against God in thought, word, and deed.

• I have not loved God with my whole heart.

• I have not loved my neighbors as myself.

I am truly sorry, and I absolutely need to humbly repent!

I want to delight in God’s will and walk in His ways to the glory of His name.


How does my posture need to change?
What will I do differently starting now to change my posture?


Heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbors as myself.

I am truly sorry and I humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me; that I may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Chronicles 7:14, “14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

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