Nighttime fear is a common plague with many. Everything seems worse in the dark. Darkness gives the sense that we are more alone than when the light of day gathers ‘round us. When others are sleeping and there is no one to talk to or distract us, our imagination can run wild. Personally, there is only one practice that delivers me from nighttime fear and that is prayer on my knees. I can lie in bed and pray, but it won’t be the same. There is a different solace altogether when I bow before God. When I am willing to leave the comfort of a warm bed, I am saying to Him I am serious about my need for His help. It is an act of humility, a demonstration that I know we are not equal and I am to be in submission to Him. And here is the good news: I cannot remember a single time when praying on my knees failed to bring peace. I had a grandmother who taught me to pray on my knees. She never told me I should—just showed me. Praying on her knees beside her bed at night and praying on her knees for me when I was sick are deeply etched memories. She had no confusion about who God was or how to relate to Him. Jesus was her best friend. She talked to Him aloud throughout the day and as far as I could tell, never once doubted that He would take her through anything. Her faith was rock solid and uncomplicated. When her husband, my grandfather, died, she made this simple notation in a book: Jim went to be with Jesus today. As I write this, I know there are some who can’t get on their knees for one very real reason or another. Not an act of defiance or laziness, but due to physical disability. Toward the end, my grandmother couldn’t do it either. But for all those years it was possible, she made it her practice. If you awake because worries are gnawing away at you, why not give praying on your knees a try? And if you are physically unable to bow before the King of Kings, spend a little time bringing yourself into a mental bowing before you begin to pray. I believe you will see the difference.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under his care. —Psalm 95:6-7 (NIV)
[Jesus] withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed. –Luke 22:41 (NIV)