What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Seventh in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson.
Today we look at the issue of prostration.
We might have reached the most challenging of all postures! As uncomfortable as I feel about raising hands, the idea of prostration is on a whole different level. However, the Bible mentions prostration as a posture of prayer more than any other! Here are some Old Testament references:
Deuteronomy 9:8; Psalm 37:6; 43:25; Genesis 18:2; 19:1; Judges 13:20; Daniel 8:17; Genesis 17:3; Joshua 5:14; Ezequiel 1:28; Isaiah 49:23; Psalm 94:6; 2 Chronicles 7:3; Numbers 22:31; Genesis 23:7; 42:6; 43:26; 1 Samuel 20:41; 24:8).
The New Testament tends to translate the word for prostration as “worship”. We see that as Jesus prays in Gethsemane he is worshipping/prostrating himself in Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:35.
After his resurrection the followers of Jesus “worship/prostrate” themselves at the feet of Jesus, Matthew 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52.
Paul mentions prostration as part of Christian worship in 1 Corinthians 14:25.
In Revelation the saints in glory are prostrating themselves before the throne of God, Revelation 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 19:4.
It is appropriate in our corporate worship settings? If so, for what purpose?
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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)
God bless, Malcolm
PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John