Kneeling is a posture of reverence and worship. Kneeling expresses humility, repentance, or surrender to the mercy of another. The Hebrews considered knee as a symbol of strength. So, bending the knee represents one’s surrender before the Almighty.
At the dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem, “Solomon knelt in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel and stretched forth his hands toward heaven” (2 Chr 6:13).
According to Psalm 95:6-7, kneeling and bowing down are forms of worship before God who shepherd us.
In Isaiah 45:23, the Lord says: “To me every knee shall bend; by me every tongue shall swear.”
Daniel had a “custom of going home to kneel in prayer and give thanks to his God in the upper chamber three times a day, with the windows open toward Jerusalem” (Dan 6:11).
After return to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile, Ezra kneeled in prayer. “Then, at the time of the evening sacrifice, I rose in my wretchedness, and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees, stretching out my hands to the LORD, my God” (Ezra 9:5).
During the public ministry of Jesus, people who sought his help kneeled before him as a sign of their devotion.
When Simon Peter had a miraculous catch of fish before Jesus called him, “he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man’” (Lk 5:8).
Jesus himself prayed on his knees at the Garden of Gethsemane before his passion and crucifixion (Lk 22:41).
Stephen (Acts 7:60), Peter (Acts 9:40), Paul (Acts 20:36) and the early Christian Community (Acts 21:5) used to pray on their knees. So, kneeling is a biblical posture of prayer and surrender before God.
As part of liturgical worship, we kneel before the Lord. Let us do it with the correct understanding of this posture. Kneeling is a posture of reverence and worship. The Lord is our strength, and we are under his divine providence. Let us be humble, repentant of our sins, and surrender to the mercy of God.