Vol.IX No.VI Pg.7
August 1972

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Why is kneeling mentioned often in connection with prayer, but standing is never so mentioned? Does not this make the position significant?


Mark.11:25 reads, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any;..." The Greek used here for "stand" is also found in MAR.3:31 and JOH.1:26. (See Vine) But I do not cite these passages to defend some particular position in prayer.

The position of one's body while engaged in prayer is, in my opinion, of no more significance than the location of the place of worship. I do not believe that an "upper room" is essential to acceptable worship, even though early Christians met in such a place. When Jesus told the Samaritan woman that "neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem", should we worship God -- He was not moving the place, but was abolishing such a concept of worship. He said, the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth": thus establishing the fact that the condition of the heart is that which makes worship acceptable. (JOH.4:19-24)

This principle seems to be borne out by the Lord's teaching concerning the Publican who "stood" praying. (LUK.18:11) Jesus commended his humility (vs.14) which is a characteristic of the heart, and apparently was not adversely affected by the position of his body. I might add, the Lord's lesson should not be ignored because He chose to use as an example one who was not "Christian".

Bro. Turner:

Why should my worship be postponed because brother is peeved? Explain MAT.5:23,24 and compare with 18:15.


I fear the querist is reading into the text something that is not there. Worship is postponed (MAT.5:23) not because someone is "peeved", but because the would-be worshiper is smitten by the memory (conscience?) of his mistreatment of another. Jesus is saying that while his heart is thus marred by sin he can not rightly approach the throne of God. "Worship" coming from an impenitent heart would be nothing more than an empty form. The brother who "hash aught against thee" has apparently been sinned against, but his "feelings" about the matter are not a part of this lesson.

MAR.11:25,26 also deals with the heart of the worshiper, but differs from MAT.5:23 in that the worshiper has been sinned against, and must forgive before he can be forgiven. Both passages seek to correct error on the part of the one addressed.

But MAT.18:15-f. tells "ye which are spiritual" (GAL.6:1) what to do about a sinning brother. The context seems to indicate that the party addressed has been "sinned against" (cf. ASV footnote) but "hurt feelings" are not a part of either passage. These scriptures call for an objective consideration of our own attitudes, and for genuine concern for the soul of a sinning brother. Pride, peevishness and legal arguments over who should first approach whom, will have no place in the life of the spiritually mature Christian.