As ladies, I’m sure we’ve all heard how important posture is to our appearance and our health. Proper posture can not only improve our appearance, it can also affect our health. Poor posture can lead to back pain, chronic internal issues caused by improper posture compacting our organs and also just generally doesn’t look competent. Amy Cuddy, Harvard professor and researcher has researched posture from the perspective of how our body language affects our behavior as well as others perception of us. There are postures she explains as “power poses” that, when held for even as little as two minutes, can change our body chemistry and help us become more confident.
One of the postures building the highest confidence is that of ‘opening up.’ To open your body up, arms wide, shoulders back, leaning slightly forward – having an open expression of power. Another is to lean back, becoming more relaxed, but also giving the impression that you are comfortable in your power.
When I read this article, I couldn’t help but think of this in connection to our spiritual postures. II Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” Through Paul’s letter to Timothy we are told that God doesn’t want us to be afraid. He wants us to have power in Him. To take up a posture and a position of power through Him. Because He has given it to us. Our prayer posture dictates our spiritual confidence, just as our physical postures can influence our mental and physical behavior.
“Lord, I’m open, your word tells me that I don’t have to be afraid, that you give me power, you love me, and you have given me a sound mind. Show me what you want me to do. Lead me.” When we pray prayers like this, we are reminding God of our openness. We are open to His will, yet we still remind Him of His promises. Our physical posture also comes into play here, as our openness is often shown by our uplifted hands – a sign of surrender, of trust – lifted to Jesus.
The second posture the researcher saw above was one of a more relaxed position, and I see this in the II Timothy verse referencing the spirit of love. God’s love is not only gentle and beautiful, but it is one of power. It is His love for us that nailed Him to the tree at Calvary. His love is one that we can relax and be comfortable in, knowing that its power is stronger than anything else. “Lord I come to you, I know that you love me even when I’ve been unlovable to the rest of the world. Thank you for your love, and the power that comes with that love. Because of that power, I can have strength to fulfill the calling you’ve placed on me…” Again, this prayer often is prayed in our more intimate moments with the Lord, and our physical posture may mirror this prayer. We may be open, but also in a more intimate position of kneeling or sitting back in our chair.
Our posture in prayer, both spiritual and physical matter. We know that we are carnal beings – our spirituality comes only through the grace of God – and that in order to maintain our posture of power spiritually, we must maintain a posture of prayer. We must be able to start in the physical if necessary and push through into the physical when our minds are having trouble focusing. Our prayers don’t have to be complex, they don’t have to be long, and they don’t need to be timid. He already gave us the power (Acts 1:10) when we received the Holy Ghost. It is ours for the taking. We can choose to have a posture of pitifulness or one of power. It is always our choice, which will you choose?