As a little girl on holiday with my grandparents, a job I liked doing, was feeding the hens. I can’t say
I was overly fond of the birds themselves, but collecting the eggs was certainly a novelty. It was also
extra reassuring to have my grandfather nearby because I didn’t like it when the hens pecked near my
Observing them closely one night after their evening meal, I was fascinated to see them on their
perches, head tucked under their wings, and fast asleep. Why didn’t they fall off? What was special
I knew that if humans fell asleep while in an upright position, it is impossible for them to keep their
balance and they end up falling over, unless of course, there is some support to stop them from doing
My grandfather patiently explained to me that the secret was in the bird’s legs. Apparently they are so
constructed, that when the leg is bent at the knee, the claws contract and grip like a steel trap. The
claws refuse to let go until the knees are unbent again. The bent knee gives the bird the ability to hold
on to her perch very tightly, but she is also relaxed enough to sleep. Amazing, isn’t it?
Don’t you think the bent knee should also be the holding power of a Christian?
Daniel, of lion’s den fame, found this to be true. He lived in a pagan environment, was tempted by
others to compromise with evil, urged to weaken his grip on God, but he refused to let go.
Others had been tested and they had faltered, so what was his secret?
Daniel was a man of prayer. He knew the power of the bent knee.
Dan.6:10 tells us, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his
house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he got down
upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he
had done previously.”
Living a victorious Christian life is not easy, but the knee bent in prayer, is certainly a great
strengthener! It is a means whereby we can seek to get a firmer grip on those values which God seeks
in us, like honesty, purity, thoughtfulness, honour, steadfastness and a God-like character.
Of course we don’t have to kneel to pray. We can talk to God in any position and at any time, but
kneeling denotes a humbling of ourselves before the Lord.
I have learned that when I seek the Lord’s face in prayer on a regular basis, it helps me to hold firmly
onto Him. When I relax in my prayer life, I invariably fall off my perch!
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