Hebrews 5:7 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.”
Jesus was perfect in every way. But his prayers weren’t heard because he was perfect. If all his accomplishments were written down, John tells us that the whole world would not have room for the books written. But his prayers were not heard because of his works. Crowds followed him everywhere he went. But his prayers were not heard because of his popularity….
He was heard because of his reverent submission.
So even if we could achieve perfection in this life, even if we could fill a library with books of all we’ve accomplished, even if we could accrue a following of thousands….none of those factors would cause us to gain the ear of God.
If Jesus was heard because of his reverent submission, might not that also be true for us?
Scripture tells us that the Lord’s eyes go to and fro throughout the earth searching for hearts that are fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16:9). God loves it when we earnestly seek him in prayer. He loves the blistered-knees-wear-the-carpet-out kind of prayer. He also loves what one of my friends calls popcorn prayers—those we pop right then, right now, whenever and wherever a problem arises. It’s not the length of the prayer that counts, but the depth.
Nor does God care what we look like when we pray. We can sit, stand, fall on our face or bend our knees. Reverent submission is about inward kneeling. Yet the parallels between outward, physical kneeling and inner posturing are striking. External kneeling is less strenuous because of its proximity to the ground (as when gardening); it makes us less visible (as when taking cover in combat); it provides stability (due to the center of gravity). Interestingly, inward kneeling accomplishes all three of these. It releases our stress as it humbles us; it provides cover in spiritual warfare; it causes us to be more stable because it draws us nearer to our Center.
So I’m praying that as you read this both you and I would be people devoted to prayer offered in reverent submission. May we follow the example of the author and finisher of our faith…
the last man kneeling.