About the Author

Shannan Martin is the author of Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted, wife of a jail chaplain, and mom to four kiddos. She's a big believer in community and salsa, and blogs at ShannanMartinWrites.com.

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  1. Shannan,
    I am not much of a kneeler…in fact, after knee surgery, it’s painful for me to go on my knees. I still, however, consider myself a prayer warrior. At best, though, I am a flawed and forgetful prayer warrior. I vow to pray for people and even with the best of intentions…there are days I go without praying for them. I inwardly chide myself, but God does not. I trust that He is mindful of my frame. So I begin each new day asking God to bring those to mind that I need to pray for and in His merciful way He does so. I have, much to my own amazement, fallen prostate on my living room floor in prayer for my prodigal son. I didn’t do it on purpose…the Holy Spirit just led me there as my tears flowed out onto the carpet. I believe, though, that God would have heard my desperate prayers no matter what position I was in because He looks on the heart. Your heart is beautiful and I know that God hears your prayers…the words you write are fragrant offerings of prayer to Him. We each come…in our own way.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • This has to be where we find grace, when we fail despite our best intentions and the world doesn’t stop turning and we keep being loved. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love hearing about your words being the truest song of your heart. For years I have felt that I didn’t know how to pray “correctly” my prayers are usually a day long dialogue between myself and God that happens anywhere and everywhere; while I’m drinking morning coffee, in the shower, in my car and at my desk at work. Thank you for helping me to see that my random prayers throughout the day are an offering to God just as much as a prayer on my knees.

  3. You are not alone!! I don’t kneel either. I talk to God everywhere I go. Work, store, car, shower… and sometimes I feel like I can’t get my prayers out of my mouth or I can’t form a sentence, so for me, kneeling just doesn’t work. I have to say my prayers right where I am, right when they come to me. I don’t fit the mold either. Thank you for sharing….now I don’t feel so alone.

    • Thank you for taking the time to let me know I’m not alone either, Cindy.

  4. I don’t always pray on my knees, but sometimes I do because it helps me remember who I am in light of who HE is! I’m learning a lot about humility this year and that posture is apparently necessary for me!

  5. I’m talking to God all the time and I trust that even when I can’t form the words and there is just a groan inside me that God honors that as prayer.

  6. I am totally with you! I used to go along with the “Christian Consensus” of things, but I have long since learned that God cares only for the heart posture, whether it be standing, kneeling, eyes open or closed, hands raised or by my side, verbal or silently spoken. We are warriors seeking God with the weapons of warfare, the Word of God and a humble heart. Thank you. I will stand with you!

  7. Youre so right Shannan. And I felt like something was wrong with me bc I dont like to pray in public. Prayer is so private for me and I pray probably more like you, scattered, raw, etc. Its more like a conversation with God. Sometimes I dont say anything. Prayer in public is just a words battle on who sounds more spiritual. It rarely comes from the heart. So when we broke up for prayer at our small group, and Im not sure who said it first but they mentioned how they wanted to pray later not together. I LOVE IT when people get real!! Its so refreshing! I was like thank you Jesus Im not alone here! I dont have to feel less holy bc I dont like to pray in public or on my knees for that matter. Like God is going to be less likely to hear me bc I havent said the right words or postured myself correctly. God sees right through us so its pointless to not be our authentic selves.

    • Oh, it’s time we all get real, don’t you think? Thanks for sharing your heart with me here. I’ve had similar thoughts about praying out loud. If you want to hear REAL out-loud prayer, find someone who’s never attended church. Always blows me away!

  8. I totally appreciate this because sometimes I worry if I am doing it right 🙂 I pray like another lady mentioned, in the car, in the shower, lying in my bed, internally crying out while doing the dishes calmly. And I tend to feel a little guilt sometimes for not giving my full attention to God. But your right He hears us and knows our hearts, and as long as we are calling out to HIM.. we are heard 🙂

  9. Love this post! I definitely do not fit the mold and there was a time I may have even judged the “hand raisers” for not being genuine. So thankful to have finally found a church home where everyone is free to worship in the way they feel inspired to worship and to share all the trials of life as blessings leading us closer to Jesus rather than sins separating us. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Oh how this touched me. So true. Please pray with me for my son struggling w drug addiction. Im feeling weak on the prayer warrior position. I want God to knock me over with discernment as to what to do now. After about 15 yrs my local resources arent fixing the situation. We need divine intervention. As a family we have been depleted in so many ways from this.

  11. I love this, Shannon. I can identify with “My off-key, scattered words are the truest song of my heart.” I believe God looks at the position of our hearts, not our bodies.

  12. I’ll be honest here…when I am PRAYing (like, officially…of course I also pray throughout the day like many of you), I am normally flat on my back, in bed, at the end of the day. There’s a good shot my eyes are closed (but I’m not sleeping…at least, not yet). Otherwise, gathered around the table with friends or family, or in a prayer circle at Bible study. I’ve prayed on my knees before, and I probably will again, but it’s not a regular part of my private liturgy (neither is morning quiet time–blech!). God doesn’t love me any more or less.

  13. I gave up on doing things the “right” way ages ago. Worship, prayer, quiet time–the expression of our faith should look as diverse as the good Lord made us:)

  14. Hi Shannan,

    I pray a lot because I have to breathe, and I know where my breath comes from. I’ve raised four kids, and now have seven grandchildren, and I’ve prayed through thick and thin. Early on, I prayed, rocking one child or another as furiously as my anxious prayers were voiced.
    We lived in a tiny house, and I often prayed quietly in a corner of the living room so as not to wake the kids while they slept.

    We’re empty-nesters now, and I have freedom to voice my prayers any way I want to without disturbing anyone. So I walk, pace, march, and I cry out my needs and the needs of my kids. I praise loudly to Jesus Culture or Hillsongs or Passion Music.

    Prayer is as individual as each of us is. I think our Father really likes it that way. He likes the Edith’s who are traditional, but He also created quirky me, and I just can’t be still when I pray. The intensity of my cry finds it way out through my body.

    So, just do it!

  15. thank you for your post. i loved it. God just wants prayer. just prayer. that’s it that’s all

  16. I remember admiring eloquent prayers and wishing I could pray like that (whatever my posture!) Then the Lord said to me: It is not the eloquence of your prayers that give them power, but the One to whom you pray.
    Such a gentle telling off! Now I am happy to offer my mismatched words, knowing that He understands and accepts me just as He made me. Thank you for your post reminding us that we are all different but also all the same.

  17. I can’t remember the last time I was on my knees to pray. My prayers often are done as we drive through the country in the semi, with me in the rider seat. Or before my feet hit the floor in the morning as I am on my back in bed. Or at home on the couch by the big East window as I watch a new day come to life.
    Prayer is not about position, it is about trusting that the ONE to whom you are praying has the power to do things beyond our imagination. That the ONE who hears understands us totally, knows all the details of our lives, cares about us and those for whom we pray. That the ONE LOVES US!
    Prayer is not about the prayer, but the One who hear the prayer and responds in the way that is best for us.
    I have had prayer Warriors, women I called when I needed prayer, I still have a couple, but I have also become a prayer warrior, lifting up all sorts of issues and needs and thanksgiving to God, because that is the only way I can survive in this world. I am His. I need Him!

  18. Thank you – I have always felt like I was lacking because I’m not a loud prayer, or a kneeler, or anything like anybody else. I have never been one to just sit and pray…I have a tendency to talk to God all day long – if something or someone comes to my mind, I talk to my Papa God whether I am in the car, at work, or doing dishes. So thank you for helping me to see that I don’t have to look/sound like everyone else for God to hear…

  19. I was reading in Ezekiel this morning and it reminded me of you. He says that when the Spirit entered him he was brought to his feet. (chapters 2 &3). God’s presence makes the prayer holy, not our posture. And God’s presence calls us to be moved, whether to our knees or to our feet. Thank you for your post and reminding me the content of my prayer is what needs to be the focus and that God can meet me anywhere in any way.

  20. My prayer time is pretty messy. Well, it’s more of a disgrace to me and the Angels that stand by to assist. I imagine them shuffling their feet in nervous embarrassment, as I try to focus my thoughts. My mind wanders during prayer, you see. It does. It goes off on a rabbit trail just after I have asked God to bless a family member or friend.

  21. I kneel mentally. I also have wondered…why evangelical churches do not kneel as a body. Why did we remove kneelers when moving into buildings that had kneelers? Why did the collective We believe them to be somehow wrong? When i do kneel…fall on my face into carpeted floors…or in the grass…i am altered. I am a constant prayer…words, disjointed, seldom connected…momentary whispers or a steady flow of ABC soup…
    I long to kneel with the body of believers…in worship.
    Every knee will bow…i think some practice of kneeling…in holy ground…is so needed. It begins with me. Thank you.

  22. I am so with you, Shannon. We have to stop this comparison thing, especially when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. My thing is closed eyes-I mean doesn’t everyone (except me, t hat is) always close their eyes to pray?!
    Thanks for this.

  23. I believe that He hears us wherever we are. I remember growing up, we always had our prayer on our knees. In humble awe of our Saviour, on our knees to show that He is greater, as if bowing. That’s how I think of it. That’s not how I always pray though. I pray sitting, standing, lying down, everytime I need to talk to my Jesus, He is there.

  24. Yes. So much, yes. Our Christian comparisons can often do deeper, more painful damage than our Pinterest comparisons…Thank you, Shannan for reminding me I’m not alone in my own version of a prayer life.

  25. I can pray sitting,standing, driving or even in the shower – I just talk to God and it feels right. one time some one told me that I am praying wrong, but I don’t think there is a wrong – I just talk to God. I love your blog and I love you.
    Patti

  26. Shannan, I so needed this today. Sometimes when I stand in a group of people praying, my mind wanders like crazy, and I wonder if we have to add so many words for the prayers to hold weight? Then of course, my head hangs with shame. And my eyes close again, trying to “behave”. But the truth is, my prayers are short and sweet. God created us differently and it makes sense he delights in different types of prayers 🙂

  27. I am definitely not a kneeler. Surely don’t consider myself a prayer warrior. I like to take showers with just candle light and use that time and space as my prayer closet. My chance to get quiet and personal with God. As I get older I find I’m praying more and remembering to pray for people. It doesn’t matter how or where you pray just that you take time each day and talk to God. He’s there waiting for you!
    Blessings 🙂

  28. I have prayed on my knees. I have also prayed laying in bed, in the car, at the kitchen sink, in the football stands and (naked) in the shower. God sees our hearts, and more importantly the intent, and our genuine and often desperate prayers – even when we don’t use spoken words. Thanks for this Shannan – God sees every beautiful bit of you!

  29. I found a link to your post @ Queen In Between and I’m so glad I did. Many (ok, too many to count!) times I’ve questioned my faith – why can’t I be a better Prayer Warrior, why doesn’t my faith look like hers, why don’t I feel led to raise my hands during worship, etc. Thank you for reminding me I’m just the way God made me and that’s ok! 🙂

  30. It’s just about time that we stop comparing ourselves to others, even those “in the faith,” and embrace our differences, and the One who made us that way. If I am called on to pray publicly, I will stumble over my words and fret that they weren’t good enough in the eyes of everyone but THE ONE. But in private? I still stumble, but I stop and start and never worry that I’m not saying it or doing it…RIGHT. I’ve prayed on my knees, on my feet, in my bed, on the floor, in a chapel, in many hospital rooms, in my car, on a mountain, on the beach, at church. One of our boys, when he was little, came out of the shower and said, “I’m sorry for wasting so much hot water…I spent most of the time ASKING JESUS INTO MY HEART.”

    I think the HEART is more important than the HOW or the WHERE.

    Love these words: “My prayers…anchor me to God, on whom I am eternally dependent.”