Contradiction on the Proper Prayer Position

By Brother Anderson

The proper prayer position is ALWAYS kneeling

Mrs. White instructed her followers that the only proper prayer position was kneeling:

"I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, "Get down upon your knees." This is the proper position always."1

Well, maybe not always...

"We must pray constantly, with a humble mind and a meek and lowly spirit. We need not wait for an opportunity to kneel before God. We can pray and talk with the Lord wherever we may be."2

"It is not always necessary to bow upon your knees in order to pray. Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour when you are alone, when you are walking, and when you are busy with your daily labor."3

Interestingly enough, while rebuking a man for failing to kneel before leading prayer at a meeting, later in life, Mrs. White often did not kneel when she led prayer. Elder D. E. Robinson, one of Ellen White's secretaries from 1902 to 1915, reported:

"I have been present repeatedly at camp meetings and general conference sessions in which Sister White herself has offered prayer with the congregation standing, and she herself standing."4


1. Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 311.

2. Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 266.

3. Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, pp. 510, 511.

4. D. E. Robinson letter, March 4, 1934.

Category: Contradictions
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