In my home I have a real treasure. I have an old 12 foot long pew that I was able to acquire from my church when they switched from “pew” seating to chairs in our sanctuary. According to the church history, my pew is about 98 years old. It is beautiful to me. Distressed in all the right places it represents so many people of different ages who have leaned on its arm rests. The seat is worn on the edge where the crooks of hundreds of knees have pressed over the years. The back is scratched and pocked where both the joyful and the weary have leaned their backs.
The pew in my home takes me back to the days of my childhood and how our church practiced prayer. On Sunday mornings when the pastor would say the prayer for the morning service, the congregation would do something most of us do not even see in America today. They kneeled to pray.
An audible memory is first heard in my mind as I think back. I hear the squeak of those old pews as people of all ages and sizes knelt, leaning elbows on their own pew seat. Next the visual memory comes. I recall looking up and down the row across from me and where I knelt. I looked at all the people. There was Mrs. Parker, my elderly babysitter. She had a mole on her chin. But she would hold her white handkerchief in one hand and use it to wipe the tears that often streamed down her face. Her lips moved as she spoke to the Heavenly Father she loved so much. There were children with eyes open (like mine) who placed our hands over our mouths and giggled at each other. Then of course our mothers or grandmothers would tell us to close our eyes. There were men and women who shifted when the prayer grew long. Then there was the pastor on the platform who prayed with such loudness and ferver. Sometimes when I craned my neck to see I could see him spit a little over the pulpit because of his enthusiasm! After each prayer he would say, “And all the people said…” And the entire congregation, young and old would say a loud, “AMEN” as we rose from our kneelings. The youngest of us were faster and we sprang up. But now when I remember as a middle aged adult, I am realizing why old Mrs. Parker needed the help of someone next to her, taking her elbow gently and helping her into her seat.
These are beautiful memories for me. Even as a child I sensed that the Lord was there. It is a rare thing to see a whole congregation kneeling in a church anymore. It is a sight I believe no one should miss. Sometimes, when I am really troubled or especially full of praise I find myself slipping out of my recliner and kneeling down to speak to my Heavenly Father. There is something about it that both humbles and causes me to feel closer to the Lord.
I will close by telling you a secret. Recently I was in great turmoil about a situation. I went to the “pew” in our home and I knelt down. It squeaked….and when I was finished I wished there had been someone there to help me up!! Yet it was a sweet sweet time with the Lord.
Perhaps you don’t have an actual “pew” in your home to sit or kneel down upon. But sometime when it strikes you, kneel down as you pray. Bow down to the Lord. It may seem a bit strange at first, but try it more than once. It just might become your preferred position as you speak to the Lord.