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Question: I’m not comfortable with kneeling. 

It reminds me of the church I came from where kneeling (and a lot of other things in the worship service)

seemed very formal and without any life.  



Pastor Bill responds:               

I appreciate your honesty.  You actually raise a number of issues here.  Let’s consider them one by one:           

  1.  You're not feeling comfortable with something (or some things) in a worship service:  All churches have an order of worship and specific elements of worship, e.g. responsive readings, corporate prayers of confession, raising of hands, etc.  You become “comfortable” with them as you do them week by week - like breaking in a new pair of shoes.  Understand why these things are in the order of worship, i.e. the liturgy, appreciate their order (often a minister will remind people of that), and enter into them heartily as part of presenting your whole body as a “living sacrifice”, which is your “reasonable service“- literally your “logical  liturgy” (Romans 12:1).  That’s the heart and soul of all true worship.           

  2.  Your specific discomfort with kneeling: As we note in the bulletin, kneel if you are able. The Lord still hears your prayers!  But kneeling is a biblical posture, e.g. Psalm 95:6, Daniel 6:10. Luke 22:41, Acts 9:40, 20:36, 21:5, etc.    It’s especially appropriate when we kneel before God to confess our sins (as we do in worship here at The Haven, OPC.   Many Americans (in particular) don’t like kneeling before an authority, because it is humbling and it seems to put us in the position of a beggar. That’s what it meant to kneel before a “sovereign” in centuries past (and in many countries today).  But that’s precisely why people bow before the sovereign Lord! We are to be humble before Him, and we are beggars for grace.  It’s the right way to respect the Lord who is gracious to us despite our many sins.            

3.  Your reminders of a past church experience that was very formal and dead. All liturgies or orders of worship can become formalistic and lifeless.  That’s a tragic (and ugly) contradiction of everything that is meant by a “living sacrifice” (see Romans 12:1 again.)  A form does not have to be formal (the minister who leads worship can help prevent that by not being too “formal” himself!), and the form of worship should simply be the biblically warranted channel to express the various emotions of your whole body in the presence of God.  In this case, kneeling before the Lord our Maker expresses our humility before HIm, and our total dependence upon Him for - well, for everything!