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Should You Kneel to Pray Each Night or Can You Say Your Prayers While Lying in Bed?

Elder David A. Bednar gave a wonderful talk about visiting the savannah of Africa and watching two cheetahs patiently stalk their prey. The topis remained alert however and escaped just in time. He compared it to spiritual warnings in our lives. He said, "Spiritual complacency and casualness make us vulnerable to the advances of the adversary. Spiritual thoughtlessness invites great danger into our lives...Focusing our lives in and on the Savior and His gospel enables us to overcome the tendency of the natural man to be spiritually snoozy and lazy. As we are blessed with eyes to see and ears to hear, the Holy Ghost can increase our capacity to look and listen when we may not typically think we need to look or listen or when we may not think anything can be seen or heard."1

We all have times when we fight the battle of laziness, even with something as simple as getting down on our knees to pray. We may think it is only something minor but I am certain that it is not. I say this because of my own natural man moments. On cold nights when we want to jump into bed and barricade the cold with our comforter, it is tempting to forego kneeling. There are times when we feel too tired to really say anything of importance. I know for myself, there have been prayers where I told my Father that I didn't have words for everything going on in my heart. Sometimes my tears serve as the only form of communication but the act of bowing before Him helps me stay in my place. It keeps me a little more humble. It helps me recognize His greatness and His mercy just a little more. When I take time to recognize those characteristics in Him, I can feel the Spirit more powerfully.

Can everyone get down on their knees? No. There may be some people with physical limitations who cannot do so but everyone can choose a place that helps them feel nearer to heaven. Will there be times when laying bed is an acceptable place to pray? Yes, on occasion but we must be conscientious that it does not become the rule rather than the exception.

I am fascinated by the Jewish religion in many ways but one of the things that impresses me most is their desire to keep the name of God holy. They do not speak His name unnecessarily, in jest, or as an expletive. Even when writing His name, they leave out a letter to keep the word incomplete. All this to honor and glorify His name. I believe as we cherish and protect His name, we have a greater tenderness in our relationship with Him.

John Taylor, the third President of the Church, reported: “Some years ago, in Nauvoo, a gentleman in my hearing, a member of the Legislature, asked Joseph Smith how it was that he was enabled to govern so many people, and to preserve such perfect order; remarking at the same time that it was impossible for them to do it anywhere else. Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. ‘How?’ responded the gentleman; ‘to us it is very difficult.’ Mr. Smith replied, ‘I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.’”2

When we understand how sacred and special prayer is, I believe we make the principle of prayer a holy and sacred experience. Kneeling feels like a more appropriate way to help us be humble as we seek our God.

  

 

  1. "Watchful Unto Prayer Continually", Elder David A Bednar, General Conference, October 2019
  2. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Chapter 24, Published in 2002 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

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