James, author of the epistle and half brother of Jesus (James’ parents were Mary and Joseph), was nicknamed ‘Old Camel Knees’ because of calluses he developed while kneeling in prayer. (Recorded in A.D. 325 by Eusebius of Caesarea in an account of church history.)
Kneeling is out of vogue in some modern-day Christian circles, but for me, I find it’s the best position to get my heart in the right attitude for prayer.
But what exactly is the function of prayer? How does it work? Can we really influence the Creator of all things by simple petition?
For centuries, religious scholars have pondered these questions and still don’t understand. All we know for sure is that throughout His Word, Papa God repeatedly tells us to pray. The Bible even goes so far as to admonish us to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NASB).
Why would our instructions be so adamant if prayer wasn’t the nerve that moves the muscles in the hand of God?
My favorite analogy of prayer is a magnifying lens.
Picture a child in a sunny field holding a magnifying glass over a blade of grass. A wisp of smoke ascends from the spot where a superheated sunbeam is trained. Soon a flame erupts. The lens serves as a focal point for the broad rays of the sun to exponentially increase their potency into a powerful beam.
The way I see it, prayer similarly reins in the broad attention of Jehovah to focus His supernatural power on a specific area.
We must, however, resist the temptation to view prayer as a free pass to success. The Almighty does not provide ‘golden Midas touch’ tickets or ‘skip to the head of the line’ coupons because we follow a magical formula or develop three new knee calluses.
But He does promise to hear every prayer. Every prayer. Even if we speak in camel.
“For this reason, I kneel before the Father,” (Ephesians 3:14, NIV).