Prayer positions... Does it really matter?

Kneeling is definitely a sign of reverence, but I was wondering if God can read from the heart anyway do prayer positions really matter or is the prayer position part of the prayer (a prayer in itself) ie: mortification for kneeling for long periods of time ?

Also, is saying the rosary completely lying down okay or does it lower the quality of the prayer?

Some postures may help to better dispose us to prayer. To some extent, this will vary from person to person. One person may find kneeling or prostrating helps focus his mind and heart, while another finds that standing helps her to be more alert and attentive. Neither is “wrong.” You might find that lying down reduces your distraction in prayer, or you might find that it makes you sleepy. You will find out.

[quote=Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Some Aspects of Christian Meditation”]Human experience shows that the “position and demeanor of the body” also have their influence on the recollection and dispositions of the spirit. This is a fact to which some eastern and western Christian spiritual writers have directed their attention…

The spiritual authors have adopted those elements which make recollection in prayer easier, at the same time recognizing their relative value: they are useful if [formulated] in accordance with the aim of Christian prayer…

In prayer it is the whole man who must enter into relation with God, and so his body should also take up the position most suited to recollection. Such a position can in a symbolic way express the prayer itself, depending on cultures and personal sensibilities. In some aspects, Christians are today becoming more conscious of how one’s bodily posture can aid prayer.

Prayer position has no effect on the quality of prayer.
We are instructed to “pray unceasingly”. In so doing, we will be in all sorts of positions and activities. If we remain focused on God, the position makes no difference.

In formal prayer…position can draw us into prayer. Our heart, desires, needs etc. can draw us toward a certain position. In these ways position CAN become a part of the prayer itself, but I would refrain from attaching much importance to position in private prayer. (Of course in a public setting i.e. the Mass - position takes on a different aspect)

Also, is saying the rosary completely lying down okay or does it lower the quality of the prayer?

Position has absolutely NO effect on the quality of prayer…rosary or otherwise. I have fallen asleep many times while praying the rosary in the night lying in bed.


I don’t think it matters. If it did, I’d be out of luck, because I can’t kneel. It hurts so badly I can’t concentrate. I’ve had to settle with sitting on the edge of the pew and folding my hands in my lap with my head bowed.

As long as you are giving your attention to prayer and showing due reverence in some way (for example, at Mass) I think it is okay.

I usually lie down while saying the Rosary, only to find my clock ringing in the next morning :stuck_out_tongue: I have tried not to fall asleep but kneeling is perhaps the only solution. At least I won’t break my Rosary unintentionally if I kneel.

It is not the position itself that matters, but its intention to do so. Kneeling was a position of reverence. Leaning is too. Since antiquity, until medieval times such positions much said about the hierarchy and obedience between two subjects. However, this behavior was also absorbed by religion, representing, in effect, we do reverence to God when the moment of His presence.

The honesty of prayer is much more important than a series of empty gestures and rituals. Remember about the Pharisees, which showed much externally but not understood nor embraced indeed faith in God. If you can, however, be honestly kneeling et cetera, this is wonderful! But do not let your faith be reduced to empty ritual significance. It is important, however, to maintain these practices so our tradition won’t be lost.

When you go into a church to pray do you lie down? Unless you have some sort of physical ailment i think that when pray you should either kneel, stand or sit whether in a church or in private. At the best of times when i lie down i am out like a light in a few mins.

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