Kneeling Before God
I think many of the more liturgical churches have something over evangelicals. I grew up Catholic and I’m grateful for many of the things that were instilled in me before and during worship. For example, the Catholic Church taught me how to kneel—to humble myself before God. That teaching created a mindset that I believe many in the Evangelical Church could learn from.
Kneeling before God is a posture of humility. It’s a worshipful way of seeking God. A. W. Tozer certainly understood this. In the introduction of his book, The Purpose of Man, James Snyder writes:
“Raymond McAfee, Tozer’s assistant for more than 15 years, regularly met in Tozer’s study each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning for a half hour of prayer. Often when McAfee would enter, Tozer would read aloud something he recently had been reading—it might be from the Bible, a hymnal, a devotional writer or a book of poetry. At times, he prayed with his face lifted upward. Other times he would pray prostrate on the floor, a piece of paper under his face to keep him from breathing carpet dust.
McAfee recalls one especially memorable day. ‘Tozer knelt by his chair, took off his glasses and laid them on the chair. Resting on his bent ankles, he clasped his hands together, raised his face with his eyes closed and began: ‘O God, we are before Thee.’ With that, there came a rush of God’s presence that filled the room. We both worshipped in silent ecstasy and wonder and adoration.’”
A.W. Tozer understood the humble posture of kneeling before God. He took seriously what the psalmist wrote in Psalm 95, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.” God is the Creator of the entire universe. He’s the Shepherd and we (the created ones) are sheep waiting to humbly listen for and obey His voice.
Friends, we need to learn some of that kind of worship and the resulting spiritual encounters with God. Humbly kneeling before God needs to become part of our lives, as it was obviously a part of Tozer’s life. It’s not ritual; it’s obedience and humility before the God of all Creation.