Three Postures of Prayer (Leighton Ford)

Brother Lawrence famously wrote of “the practice of the presence of God” – one of the finest descriptions of attentiveness to God. In his book of the same name he described how he considered himself “before God, whom I behold as my king” using three images: subject, son, ¬†and stone.

As Subject

the Posture: kneeling, prostrate

“Touched with a sensible regret, I confess to Him all my wickedness, I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands that He may do what He pleases with me. The King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love…and treats me in all respects as His favorite…”

Kneeling or prostrate we pray: “As your Subject, redeem me – and converse with me as friend”.

 

As Son

the Posture: embracing, leaning, expressing need

“My most useful method is this simple attention, and such a general passionate regard for God, to whom I find myself often attached with greater sweetness and delight than that of an infant at the mother’s breast; so that, if I dare use the expression, I should choose to call this state the bosom of God, for the inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there”.

Embracing, leaning, we pray: “As your Son, embrace and nurture me”.

 

As Stone

the Posture: sitting, desiring change and transformation

“As for my set hours of prayer, they are only a continuation of the same exercise. Sometimes, I consider myself there as a stone; presenting myself thus before God, I desire Him to form His perfect image in my soul, and make me entirely like Himself”.

Sitting, we pray: “As your Stone, form me into your image”.

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