Standing in prayer is often in Scripture associated with worship and praise. “…to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord and likewise in the evening.” 1 Chronicles 23:30 In contrast, bowing down (kneeling) is more often associated with supplication, humility, and sacrifice. (We’ll look at this more next week).
When we stand, we come from a place of confidence to exalt God and to lift Him high. Those who know their own weakness, but also the joy of being covered by the blood of Jesus, come with boldness to the throne of glory, with assurance that their prayers are heard. (Hebrews 4:16, Jude 24)
Standing is also associated with the place of the watchman in prayer. “I will stand my watch….and watch to see what He will say to me.” Habakkuk 2:1
In addition, it demonstrates “standing in the gap” for others in prayer – “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land…” Ezekiel 22:30
However, there are two mentions of caution when standing and praying that are worth looking at.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 I’m not sure that standing in prayer makes one more aware of wrongs done to us. Its possible Jesus spoke this in the context of corporate prayer where you could see others around you and maybe more prone to be distracted by unforgiveness.
Jesus also gave correction to those praying in public to be seen by others. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.” Matthew 6:5
I don’t know if standing in prayer can make us more vulnerable to pride or offense, but I want to search my own heart in this prayer position that my motives might be right before the Lord, particularly in a corporate setting.
This shouldn’t cause us to draw back from standing in prayer, but to be aware of these potential pitfalls as we stand to praise Him, to watch and to intercede for others.