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Can you help me defend the practice of kneeling?


A Southern Baptist co-worker recently gave me a hard time because we "Romanists" kneel when we pray. He said that in "Bible times" the Jews didn’t kneel but stood or sat when they prayed and that Catholics are "unbiblical" in their prayer posture. He said we "invented" kneeling and that real Christians don’t kneel. What can I tell him?


Begin by asking what he thinks kneeling in prayer proves. That the Catholic religion is wrong? What if a Catholic never knelt in prayer or at Mass–would that somehow vindicate Catholicism?

If that line of reasoning doesn’t show him how silly his quibble is, then try a few Bible verses.

  • After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he [Jesus] prayed (Lk 22:41).
  • Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed (Acts 9:40).
  • When he had finished speaking he [Paul] knelt down and prayed with them all (Acts 20:36).
  • All of them, women and children included, escorted us out of the city, and after kneeling on the beach to pray, we bade farewell to one another (Acts 21:5).

Jesus, Peter, and Paul all lived “in Bible times,” and they knelt when they prayed. Were they “unbiblical”?

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