By Dr. Harold Sala
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:14
When the tail-gunner on an aircraft began to draw enemy fire, he quickly radioed for assistance. “What’s your position?” asked the radio operator, meaning, “Where are you?” In response he replied, “Kneeling!” Hey, if someone was shooting at me, I’d want to get through to God the quickest, fastest way, too.
Question: Why do people kneel when they pray? You can pray anywhere, anytime. Some stand and pray. Some prostrate themselves before God, and others kneel. There is, however, a reason why people kneel. In ancient days when men worshiped God, they knelt or prostrated themselves on the ground. It represented the acknowledgment of a superior. You bent the knee in submission.
In 1904 a revival broke out in the little country of Wales. Prominent in this spiritual move of God was an unlikely candidate for leadership, a quiet, introverted young man by the name of Evan Roberts. Roberts had heard a minister named Seth Joshua say that what the Welsh church needed more than anything else was to be bent by the Lord. He wanted to be all that he could be. Thus, the young Roberts cried out, “Lord, bend me!” That became the battle cry of revival–“Lord, bend me!”
Submission to the person and will of God, the Father, comes one of two ways. You can yield because you fear the consequences of not bowing the knee, or you can bow because you love God. This results in your asking Him to bend you to conform to His purpose and will, instead of asking for His blessings, insuring that your plans succeed, letting God have your way.
One of the great challenges confronting us today is how to maintain a relationship with God when we are juggling responsibilities to work, family, and home, and all our relationships are intensified by the pressures and stress of life today. God often gets cut out of the loop. No time for Him. And because you’re fighting to stay on top of the pile, God rates no more than a few fleeting seconds of your thoughts as you cry out for His help.
That’s why taking time for worship every day is a key to spiritual survival. And how do you do that? First, by submitting your will to His, by saying, “Lord, I humbly bow before You and acknowledge You. I praise and thank You for who You are, for what You have done for me, and for caring for me.” It’s focusing on Him, acknowledging that He’s in control of your life and your schedule.
So what do you do when things don’t go according to your plan? Blame God for not hearing you, or sit back and say, “Hey, God has a better plan than mine so I’ll await His timing and meanwhile rejoice in His goodness.”
Take time to meditate on God’s Word. To learn more about worship, take a concordance and look up the many references in the Bible to worship. Eventually you will come to Revelation 5 where the twenty-four elders bow before God in the presence of thousands of angels. “In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'” (Revelation 5:12).
Singing praises as you worship also enforces your attitude of bending to the will of God–something you can do riding on a freeway, working at your computer, or doing dishes. Sometimes I will take an old hymn book and meditate on the words of praise and worship, a reflection of by-gone generations who knew more about worship and praise than we do today.
When you pray, “Bend me, O Lord” you are asking Him to fashion your soul and life and will into an image wrought by the Master’s hand. Yes, Lord, bend me.
Resource reading: Revelation 5