What Prayer IS – Uplifting

There are many different positions people take physically when they prayed in the Bible: kneeling, sitting, standing, arms outstretched, bowed in submission, prostrate on the floor, etc., but probably my favorite one is when people looked up.

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. 

Matthew 14:15-20 (ESV, emphasis added)

Bowing our heads and closing our eyes is an excellent way to show respect to God and really hone in on what we’re doing, eliminating the plethora of distractions from our view. Bowing down is contracting, it’s a posture of stating our dependence and choosing to take up less space so that the one who is worthy can occupy more. It’s absolutely accurate of our position and what we deserve. We are not God and can do nothing apart from him. Yet he’s not just the Almighty King, he’s our Father.

He invites us to go higher, he calls us to look up.

I love the expansiveness of looking up. We don’t look up out of defiance with a puffed out chest and a lifted chin, but in wonder and awe. Our God is so big and when we look up we can see that. Expanding our view helps us to see life in the perspective of eternity, allowing some of the less important details to fall from our view. Lift your gaze and take in, in absolute wonderment, the vastness of creation. Observe how far the sky extends and the depths of the clouds or the vibrancy of the sky.

Prayer is an invitation to lift up our eyes and worship the Almighty {tweet this}. Prayer allows us to thank him for all he has done and will continue to do. The act of uplifting our eyes and hearts to him is precious and sacred and beautiful.

Take a few moments to stand up, lift up your eyes and heart, and shout your praises to God today.

“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” 

Romans 5:1-5 (MSG, emphasis added)


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  1. I loved this post Sarah! Thank you so much for posting it. When I began my spiritual journey in 2008 I was coming out of an abusive relationship and was searching for a church home and decided to attend a Methodist church in my home town. The first Sunday I attended the minister preached her sermon on the Matthew 14 verses you referenced above. She spoke about prayer being uplifting and that we should not be ashamed to look up when we pray. I knew I wanted to be a part of that church and it became my church home because of that. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

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