On My Knees

Prayer. One of the few and necessary pieces to the puzzle of faith. Simply put, prayer is speaking with God. I’ll get to the crux of this article and just state that any relationship will suffer without communication. Two-way communication is necessary to maintain your faith: a relationship with the Almighty God. And if we hear that old man preach once a week and maybe we read a verse from the Holy Bible every now and again, but have not prayer, then our faith has either no communication or it’s a one-way street. And either of those is unhealthy and a recipe for distance from our ever-gracious Lord.

And now that I’ve stated all that I wish to present in this article, let’s break it all down and start at the beginning. And I mean, the beginning.

How prayer began; God made mankind and it’s clear in Genesis He was conversing with Adam and his wife, Eve. God tells Adam before Eve was made, to be fruitful and multiply, name the animals, tend the garden, but don’t eat from that one tree (Gen. 1:28-30, 2:16-17). Well, we know how the story goes and so when God confronts Adam and Eve after they’ve eaten from that tree, the humans are seen verbally conversing with God (Gen. 3:9-19).

And so prayer, although the very first subject matter seemed a bit intense, started off as fairly casual. As if they were talking with someone who was right there. And He was! The Bible tells us, God Himself walked in the garden (Gen. 3:8).

That’s pretty interesting, for more on that check out the article: Christ in the OT, once it hits the site (could be a few months from now), but I want to see where prayer went from there. We’ll briefly go through the historical figures who subsequently conversed with God after the fall of man and we’ll try to see if there is a change.

Next, we have Cain! Cain? Yes, Cain. The guy who killed his brother because God favoured what good ol’ Abel had to offer. God spoke to Cain and Cain spoke back (Gen. 4:9-15). Verbally and casually.  So clearly this casual speaking with God is not exclusive to life before sin (Adam and Eve in the garden).

And then we have the enigmatic Enoch. The man who was and then was not. He is said to have “walked with God” or in the NLT: “walking in close fellowship with God,” for three hundred years (Gen. 5:21-24). Interestingly, we never have recorded conversations between Enoch and God, in the Holy Bible. I presume him being such a close friend to God, warranting a pre-death rapture— one of two, the other being Elijah— he must have had two-way conversing in order to maintain such a fruitful friendship with the Father.

Noah would be the next prominent character but only God’s words spoken to Noah are recorded and no response from Noah himself is recorded (Genesis chapters 6-9).

And at last, the friend of God, Abraham. Two-way talking is recorded in a face-to-face manner and omnipotently on many occasions. God appears to Abraham physically and speaks to him and Sarah (Gen. 12:1-9, 13:14-17, and all throughout 15, 17 and 18). Abraham speaks back in Genesis 15, 17 and 18. God says He will protect and reward Abraham, who subsequently complains to God that he does not have children. God replies. It’s a conversation the two are having. Casual and natural. The entirety of chapter 18 is another marvel as God is physically there talking with Abraham and his wife Sarah.

As does Jacob when he wrestles with God (Gen. 32:22-30). Skip ahead a few centuries to the iconic conversing of Moses and God —through the bush that’s ablaze— (Ex. 3-4). And then we’ve got that gorgeous time of Elijah in the cave (1 Kings 19:9-18) hearing that still small voice (1 Kings 19:12 NKJV), for more in that story read the article: Be Still and Know… What Exactly?.

Even before Elijah, with Joseph, Samuel, David and many more as well as after Elijah with Nehemiah, Ezra, Daniel, and many, many more… All throughout the Bible, we have people speaking casually with the Lord of Hosts. The God of all.

So what divides us from those peoples of old? Why can’t we talk with God casually and naturally? Is it Christ? Did his coming and completing the requirement of the law and freeing us from slavery to sin make it so we can’t talk to God like He’s our buddy or our daddy? No! Look at Jesus! How fluidly did he speak of and to the Father?

Talking with, not just to, God is still a part of our faith and needs to be a part of our lives. This article is not about whether God still speaks audibly to us today as He did with those I’ve mentioned already. This article is about using the intimacy of prayer to strengthen your relationship with God.

So, what does this desire to be casual with God and speak with Him look like for you? Well, I’ll tell you what it looks like for my own walk with God.

I set out on a journey in 2017 to read through the whole Bible in the year (in chronological order— I recommend that sometime, it is fascinating!)

After that year, I found myself having missed something: prayer. I spent so much time immersing myself in scripture that I had forgotten to pray! Don’t get me wrong, I’d still prayed maybe once or twice a week but it definitely wasn’t what Paul instructs to do: “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thes. 5:17).

Thus, for 2018 I set out on another journey: a dedication to pray,, on my knees, every day. I wanted to show God through my posture that I revered him. This sort of attitude and actually the structure of my prayers for that year were inspired by Jeremiah 32:17-25.

At that time, the prophet Jeremiah was imprisoned for speaking God’s word to the king: a certain message the king didn’t like. To make matters worse, Jerusalem, where Jer was at the time, was under attack! Jer is in prison and God tells him to buy a field. Jeremiah goes through with it but then sends God this prayer:

17 “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! 18 You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation’s sin upon the next. You are the great and powerful God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.19 You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve. 20 You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt—things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made your name famous to this day.

21 “You brought Israel out of Egypt with mighty signs and wonders, with a strong hand and powerful arm, and with overwhelming terror. 22 You gave the people of Israel this land that you had promised their ancestors long before—a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 Our ancestors came and conquered it and lived in it, but they refused to obey you or follow your word. They have not done anything you commanded. That is why you have sent this terrible disaster upon them.

24 “See how the siege ramps have been built against the city walls! Through war, famine, and disease, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, who will conquer it. Everything has happened just as you said. 25 And yet, O Sovereign Lord, you have told me to buy the field—paying good money for it before these witnesses—even though the city will soon be handed over to the Babylonians.”
Jeremiah 32:17-25, NLT

He spends 17-22 just praising God for what he has done. And then he yells out (paraphrasing) “we’re under attack! Yet… you’ve told me to buy a field!”

Isn’t that such a great prayer structure? I ran with it— or rather: knelt with it. Every morning I got on my knees and I spent the majority of my prayer praising God for who He was and what He has done. I told Him things that He knew like: “you are good, awesome and holy. Your name is higher than anything in my life. You are the one true God and your power is endless.” The amazing thing was, by praying these things to God, I found the words were ministering to me. He was speaking back by shaping me in a man who revered God. It felt like a conversation. It felt like the days of old.

And at last, at the end of my prayer, I would lift up my wife and son (now sons), my church and extended family, my coworkers and my own requests.

Praying this way felt better. Because I was on my knees, literally bowed down with my head pressed against the ground, I couldn’t help but praise God and make the prayer about Him and not me.

I tell you, brothers and sisters, it is a profound way to pray. I know not everyone is able to get on their knees and if you can’t: do so in your heart by starting to pray a ‘Jeremiah’s Prayer.’ Pray to God in a way where it is casual and pour out your love for Him. Tell Him how good He is. Sing to Him! Almost every morning I would pray through Bethel Music’s John Mark and Sarah McMillan’s “King Of My Heart“. I especially loved praying to God the chorus: “You are good, good, oh, oh. You are good, good, oh, oh.”
Through this kind of prayer and humbling of your own self and getting back to talking with God as if He is right there with us, you’ll find Him whispering back to your heart in extraordinary ways: breaking down walls, removing sin, fighting pride and so much more; if you let Him. I encourage you to take up prayer as if God were casually next to you, and then worship him with all your heart. Let Him be your best friend and your God.

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Author: Elijah Buchan

Writing is not just a passion or a hobby for me; it's my expression. I've been creating my stories since I was a child and am so humbled to see them featured on greenleafwriting.ca!