Ten Postures of Jesus in Prayer
God speaks to us through His Word. We speak to him through prayer. Prayer is nothing but talking with our heavenly Father. Talking has a body language. We find Jesus talking with his heavenly Father in different postures.
Ten Postures of Jesus in Prayer
Prayer is a communication. It is a conversation with God. We talk to God as a child talks with its daddy. We find in the New Testament Jesus praying in so many occasions. He prays in different circumstances. He prays individually as well as with others. He teaches his disciples how to pray. Prayer has different dimensions, externally as well as internally. We can see Jesus praying externally and internally in various postures.
Ten postures of Jesus in prayer
Postures vary according to the different times and places when and where people pray. The posture of prayer usually fits the circumstances and the mental state.
We find Jesus praying externally in six postures and internally in four.
Kneeling has been one of the traditional postures of praying which we find in many places in the Holy Bible. Kneeling is a ritual expression of our willing to surrender our life to God. We find Jesus praying in kneeling posture in the garden of Gethsemane. His prayer there portrays his mental agony. “Then he went a little further, about a stone’s throw, and kneeling down he prayed, “Father, if it is your will, remove this cup from me; still not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22: 41-43)
Prostrating on the ground and falling on face is a posture showing humility of our Lord. This is the posture of complete surrender. Jesus was filled with anguish and distress. “He went a little farther and fell to the ground, with his face touching the earth, and prayed.” (Matthew 26: 39)
3) Looking up to heaven
Before multiplying the loaves of bread we find Jesus looking up to heaven and praying. This we see in a few occasions in the New Testament. Before raising up dead Lazarus, “Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you for you have heard me…” (John 11: 41)
During the Last Supper, Jesus prayed in a sitting posture. “When it was evening, Jesus sat at the table with the Twelve…While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, said a blessing and broke it and gave it to the disciples.” (Matthew 26:20, 26)
Most of the prayers were in a standing posture. When he multiplied bread and fish he was in a standing posture. At the time of transfiguration, while he was praying, his disciples saw him transfigured and standing with Moses and Elijah. (Luke 9: 29-30)
6) Raising voice
Voice has a part in our postures. Face and other parts of our body join to express our feelings and emotions when we raise our voice. His time of death was a great agony. He should have been at the peek of his sufferings. That is why he gives a loud cru before his death. “Then Jesus gave a loud cry, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23: 46)
7) Internally Jesus prayed alone silently
Gospel tells about Jesus praying solitarily. He went up to hills or silent places to pray. He showed how important is prayer in ones spiritual life gain power to fight with evil spirit.
8) Spontaneous prayers
Jesus prayed spontaneously as well as officially. Spontaneous prayers come automatically from the inner heart. For example, his prayer for his disciples at the Last Supper was a spontaneous one. It was a prayer full of expressions and emotions.
9) Official or formal prayers
Many a time Jesus prayed using the Jewish tradition of using Psalms and other parts of the Old Testament. He taught his disciples to pray with Psalms. Even at his death, he recites Psalm 22, an official form of Jewish prayer. “Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani” which means “My god, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Mark 15:34) This verse is the beginning of Psalm 22.
10) Social perspective of prayer
Prayer of Jesus portrays his social perspective of prayer. The prayer he taught us -- the Lord’s Prayer --is an example for this. All should have what they need, all should be reconciled with one another and there should be goodness everywhere on this earth. Then only the Kingdom of heaven – the Paradise of Joy--will be built up on this earth.