On My Bended Knees

Some of our struggles are external—such as the struggles you face with your finances, the discipline of your Children, or the stresses on your job. Others take place within you. Internal enemies such as anger, unforgiveness, or insecurity; and can be harder to fight and can also hinder your walk with God and your relationships with others. How can you find victory? For me, I’ve discovered that if I fight my battles on my knees

in Prayer, …. then I will win every time!

In my Sermon today entitled “ON MY BENDED KNEES”

I want to speak about Prayer, not so much about the content of prayer, but rather the attitudes and the aspects of prayer that were common to our Lord Jesus and yet are almost forgotten today. In today’s Gospel we saw how shocked Jesus was that His disciples could not even watch with Him for one hour, and

I cannot help but wonder how many of us spend an hour in Prayer every day?

Consider in the First Place, what I am calling the Posture of Prayer. Now the posture, while important, is not as important as the petition itself, but nevertheless we should consider anything and everything that will either impoverish or enrich our Prayer Life.

It seems to me that throughout both the old and the new testaments, many of the Children of God fell on their faces, got right down on their knees, even prostrate in the dust before God in Prayer. The Psalmist says in Psalm 95:v6

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before

the LORD our maker”.

While it is possible to pray standing on our feet, sitting on a chair, even lying in a bed, there is something about getting right down on your knees before God, that adds to the meaning, motive and measure of our prayers. You see, when we get down on our knees, humbling ourselves there, we are acknowledging to God, and ourselves, that God is greater than we are, that he

is Father, while we are his sons and daughters. He is Lord while we are his stewards and servants. I think back to the time in our society when people went into “Service” as it was called. There, living below stairs, there was a very different attitude to ones employer, than that, that is common today. One would have been well dressed, well groomed, and well spoken at all times – referring to ones employer as Sir or Madam. There was a great deal of respect and each understood the others role.

In the Kingdom of God however, things are not meant to be that way. God has made us all equal with each other, and while the highest form of greatness is evidenced in service, we are none the less expected to revere God and behave ourselves always as fits those who belong to His Royal Lineage. We have been made “Kings and Priests unto God” (Rev 1:6 & Rev 5:10) and while this makes and marks us legal and regal, we must remember that

He is “King of Kings” and that title is more significant than most of us imagine. He is always LORD. If a man can kneel before an earthly King or Queen, how much more ought men and women to kneel before God? This of course poses the question, do we always act like “the Royalty of Heaven”?

How do we behave ourselves in the company of one another, and how do we behave in His company? More recently I have tried as much as possible to kneel down when I pray, this is not for Gods benefit, but for my own. On my knees I get to reflect on

who I am, and who He is. Try it, you will not believe the difference this makes to the attitude of prayer. Furthermore,

I feel that too often we allow small and insignificant things to disturb our times with God. A knock on the door, a phone-call, and we are often up and out of our place with God to deal with the post-man or the meter-reading guy? Yet if we were in a private conference with the Prime Minister, the President, or the Queen we wouldn’t dream of walking out on them to answer the phone or the door? Yet we often treat God differently,

don’t we?

So then,

What does it mean to fight our battles on our knees? Simply this—that you and I lay our petitions and prayers before the Lord, spending time in His presence, and listening or waiting for His answer.

You may ask why should we fight our battles on our knees?

I believe it is the Biblical pattern. Throughout the Scriptures we see God’s servants falling on their knees before the Lord.

When we turn to the Lord, we are no longer battling on our own. No one can help you more than the Sovereign Lord of the universe Psalm 103:19 says “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all”.

God acts on behalf of those who trust in Him. Prayer connects us with the Holy Spirit and with His power. If you have trusted Christ as your personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit dwells within you. We can accomplish nothing for God apart from the

Spirit’s power. Prayer taps into the source of that supernatural awesome power and peace. What we don’t do in the Spirit,

we do in the Flesh, and “no flesh can glory in His presence”.

Believers who turn their struggles over to the Lord have peace even when circumstances don’t change. Phil 4:6 & 7 reads:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God; And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus“.

This then poses the question,

How can you fight your battles on your knees?

First of all, Set aside time to be alone with God. You won’t find time to pray, you must make time to pray. If possible, find a quiet place where you are not likely to be disturbed by doorbells or telephones or children running in and out. Switch off your mobile and switch off the world and devote yourself to the One most capable of helping you in every difficulty.

Then … Switch on to God!

So much then for the Posture of Prayer. Now let us consider what I’m calling the Pattern for Prayer.

Let me tell you what I find most helpful, and although this may not work for all, it does for me, and it has been a great blessing.

I call it “My Temple Pattern”

In Solomon’s Temple, there were three distinct areas assigned for three distinct purposes. These were the “Porch” otherwise known as the outer court, the “Holy Place” … and the

“Holy of Holies” in which was the “Ark of the Covenant”

Here is how I apply that pattern.

Before Jesus went to the Cross, he went first to the Garden of Gethsemane to Pray, and he took with him the disciples.

We read “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” Matthew 26:40

It seems to me that Jesus was saying to them (and to you & me)

that HE is worth (at least) one hour of our day? I find it very easy to give one hour to Prayer, indeed I recon that I spend several hours every day in prayer. One old preacher said; “I never spend more than 15 minutes in prayer, but then I don’t have 15 minutes in any day when I am not talking with my Father in Heaven” That’s what I call prayer without ceasing

as did Paul in 1 Thess 5:17.

So in my first hour with God, {in the outer court} I usually pray for all kinds of concerns. I pray for my family, my Christian friends, my unsaved friends, my colleagues, I pray for those in difficulty, those in need of healing, those in financial need, those in changing circumstances. I pray for my preaching and pastoral ministry, and of course I pray for myself. I am conscious in that time of my faults and failing, and confess any known sin to my merciful father. I find comfort in his forgiving word, and find strength in Gods presence to try harder and do better next time. Here at times, I often weep over souls, and those who I love dearly who are still lost. I weep to God over the sorry and sick state of our country, our world and our people.

I ask for wisdom, insight and ability to make a difference in my world, and I ask for grace and compassion to forgive and forget the wrongs done to me. Remember, Prayer is all about

INTIMACY with God!

Then at some point, usually about the end of that first hour, without any intent or plan, I find myself in another place,

{in the Holy Place}

Here the presence of Jesus is stronger than at first, and here there are no feelings of remorse or regret about my failings or faults. The focus shifts off me onto Him. There may be tears,

but this time they are tears of joy and not sorrow?

Here too I feel that answers are being given, Jesus is holding me in His arms, loving me, helping me, strengthening me, His word is flowing into me, I am remembering his promises and feeling stronger because of them. Here I often loose sense of time, and sometimes loose sense even of the material things that are around me. Here I begin to see things in the Spirit that I cannot see with any optical vision. (five or ten minutes in the morning or at bedtime with God will never take you to this place in Prayer)

After some time in this attitude and place of prayer, I imagine myself then in another place, {in the holy of Holies} and this for me is “The Gate of Heaven”. Here I imagine a sign fixed to that gate; it reads SILENCE. In this sacred place of Prayer,

I don’t say anything any longer, here is where I wait on God. This is where He speaks to me and this is where I wait and Listen quietly. My dear friends, the Lord desires to have an intimate relationship with each one of His children. But you will never know Him better unless you take the time to listen for His voice.

Expect Him to bring up other issues in your life. He may want you to deal with rebellion, unforgivingness, or bitterness in your heart. Until you repent and surrender to the Lord, sin will keep you from experiencing God’s best and enjoying a close relationship with Him. This is the PATTERN that works for me, I hope it will help you, but remember that Prayer is not only worship, it is work, and sometimes hard work! Remember too that Prayer is not a Monologue, but a Dialogue!

Now lets move on.

Remember that in a battle, there can only be one general.

Freely express your desires, but don’t expect God to take orders from you. As you surrender to His guidance, He will engage His supernatural power on your behalf. Many of our Prayers are about us telling God what we intend to do, and asking Him

to bless us in the doing. But that is not prayer. Many of the problems and pressures we fight every day, have been self-manufactured. We have got to learn to get down from that Throne, and let God up there. I have discovered as I mature,

that battles are sometimes God’s tools. God can use even the most trying and testing circumstances to chisel away at stubborn pride and selfishness in the human heart. Some put their trust in themselves and pursue relationships, accomplishments, or possessions without any leading from God, and instead of pleasure they manufacture pain.

The Lord has taught me to see all adversity as allowed by Him. This truth will protect you from bitterness towards those who wrong you. The apostle Paul says, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love him, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

In a battle, you and I may lose money, pride, or control over a situation. But if that struggle brings us to the point of total surrender to the Lord, then we will always win spiritually.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this sermon, I am not so much dealing with WHAT we pray for, as much as HOW we make those prayers. I turn now, (before closing) to the subject of FASTING and how Prayer & Fasting go hand in hand.

Contrary to popular opinion and understanding, – Fasting is not for Gods benefit. It does not change Gods mind, or hurry Gods answer, or increase Gods favour, or Save lost souls. Fasting is more for our benefit, than for the benefit of others.

By training our body and disciplining our appetites, we become

more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and to the voice of God.

The sensual voices are deadened as we take authority over them, and we can better focus on faith when we are not focused on food! Jesus said: “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Matthew 6:16.

It was a Jewish custom to anoint one’s self with olive oil and in Jesus’ day it was apparently customary to anoint the heads of your guests, also. Luke. 7:46. At times an ointment or perfumes were used in this personal anointing. A lack of having one’s head anointed was associated with mourning or sorrow.
Jesus is saying that there should be no external sign of fasting or sacrifice, but it should be done secretly to the Lord to deepen that relationship. Fasting is a Private and Personal thing, not a Public thing. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 7:5, that abstinence from the physical relationship in marriage for the purpose of fasting should not be done without the consent of one’s spouse, … I call this the “Marriage Fast”. A fast does not always have to be totally secretive to be productive. Rather, Jesus is once again dealing with the motives behind our actions. One of the greatest benefits of fasting is that through denying the appetites of the flesh, the spirit man gains ascendancy. Fasting was always used as a means of seeking God to the exclusion of all else. Fasting does not cast out demons, but rather, it casts out unbelief. Therefore, fasting is beneficial to every aspect of the Christian life. Fasting enables us to hear from the Spirit

more than from the Flesh.

The real virtue of a fast is in humbling ourselves through self denial, and it can be accomplished through ways other than by total abstinence. Partial fasts can be beneficial, as well as fasts of our time or pleasures. However, because appetite for food is one of man’s strongest drives, fasting from food seems most practical. Fasting should be a much more important part of our seeking God. Endeavour to live a fasted lifestyle, whether it is a denial of yourself through food, or denial of your own wishes. Exalt Jesus today. Put Him first in everything that you do. If you win the battle with self, you are more likely to win the battles with Sin.

What are you battling today? Does it seem as if God doesn’t see your pain or understand your heartache? Let me assure you that He knows exactly what you are going through – “What a Friend we have in Jesus”. Kneel down in the Lord’s presence today, and offer this prayer: “Lord, I don’t want anything in my life that displeases You. Take my Problem today, I give You this battle, and trust that You will turn it for my good in Your way and in Your time.” Release your problems to almighty God,

do it on your Knees and you’ll find victory.


Dr. Helen Roseveare, a missionary to Zaire, told the following story. “A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister. One of the little girls responded, ‘Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won’t feel so lonely.’

That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the little girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, ‘If God sent that, I’m sure He also sent a doll!’ And she was right! The Lord knew in advance of that child’s sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a church ladies’ group to include both of those specific articles.”

Prayer is never a waste of time. Try it!