Sunday, December 22, 2013

Position Prayer

While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." (Luke 5:12 NASB)

We haven't mined all the gold from this verse yet!  There are two Greek words used here that demand a closer look. The two words translated "Fell on his face" are piptō and prosōpon. 

Piptō is used to indicate moving from an upright to a prostrate position, but it is also used to indicate a descent from authority or prosperity as well as the position of respect and worship before a deity or authority. Prosōpon is used to indicate the face as well as one's outward appearance. There is an assumption that this man was poor, and having the worst case of leprosy, he may well have been, but not necessarily. These two words are correctly translated as "fell on his face", but we can easily miss the richness of the word picture and symbolism. This leper was symbolically laying down any position of authority or financial security he possessed in submission to the higher authority of Jesus. His position symbolically demonstrated his acknowledgement of Jesus's power and authority. 

By falling on his face before Jesus, he was placing outward appearance at the feet of Jesus. Because of the nature of his disease (leprosy is a very disfiguring disease), he was symbolically placing his appearance as a result of his disease (the consequences) in Jesus's hands to do with as He would. 

Now all that is the prelude for the next very important point. Don't miss this! His physical position and his words matched. When this leper spoke to Jesus and asked Him for healing, he was simply voicing what he had already demonstrated by his choice of position before God's Son. His actions spoke volumes before his words were ever voiced. We would do well to emulate him, for we will soon see that Jesus granted this man's request. 

Today, as you approach the throne of God on behalf of our loved ones, assume a position before God that reflects the sincerity and humility in your heart. Like the leper, let your position be the first part of your prayer.