On Bended Knee
At a men’s prayer breakfast I attended earlier this year, one of the other men asked me if it was okay for a Christian to bow to another person during a martial arts contest. My reply was that it’s permissible if done as a form of respect and wouldn’t involve bowing the knee. We are to honor men but not give them reverence that solely belongs to God alone.
One might also question, “Must a Christian pray on his knees?” Christ Himself knelt down to pray in Luke 22:41. So did Stephen (Acts 7:60), Peter (Acts 9:40), and Paul (Acts 20:36; 21:5). Kneeling before God is a posture representing worship.
Years ago while doing street evangelism with a group from a ministry school, I overheard a student suggest getting new converts to pray on their knees. Philippians 2:10 does say, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.” But this doesn’t mean someone has to literally be on bended knee when receiving salvation. On March 19, 1991 I was sitting in my sister’s living room chair when her husband led me to the Lord. The presence of God poured upon me even though I wasn’t on my knees. Repentance is really an attitude of the heart.
Whenever I have led sinners to salvation, some of them have done things to show reverence such as tossing their lit cigarettes, taking off their hats, closing their eyes and/or bowing their heads. Then again I remember one young man in Springfield, Massachusetts who voluntarily got down on his knees when he prayed with me to get born again.
Everyone will eventually bow before the Lord Jesus Christ. One can choose to do so willingly while he is alive or before the Great White Throne on Judgment Day. Sadly for the latter, that will be done for the final time. Will you choose to bow now?
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”
- Psalm 95:6 (NLT)