When God Wants Us on Our Knees

I walked into my room disheveled and flung my backpack on the ground. I realized my slightly-lofted bed was going to require more energy than I had to jump into it, so I lied on the floor.


My two hands covered my face, partly because I was crying into them and partly because I knew I hadn’t vacuumed my carpet in weeks.

My back slightly trembled, up and down, as my sobbing heightened.

And then silence.

Everything was quiet.

I opened my burning eyes slightly and turned my head gently to look at my watch. It was 7:32 PM. I had been lying on the floor for 30 minutes. Knowing my roommate could be home at any moment, I began to pull myself up.

I propped my body up, rolling my head back very slowly like I remember doing in yoga once. Now, come up slowly, at your own pace. Make sure your head is the last to rise.

However, I wasn’t rising all the way up. I have now made it to sitting upright on my knees – straight back, but not fully standing (baby steps, right?).

I blinked back black spots as I had a head rush and felt dizzy, but I remained on my knees. I looked at my watch again. 7:36 PM.

I realized in that moment, as time moved quickly yet felt like it was crawling, that I never sit on my knees anymore. Growing up in grade school or sporting events, you would sometimes sit cross legged or on your knees in group settings. I loved the odd comfort of having my heels under my seat and feeling like a compact sandwich, but as I’ve gotten older, I usually am standing fully, sitting in a chair properly, or lying down to sleep – there’s not a whole lot of in-between.

I was fascinated by this and hinged on it longer – Erica, when was the last time you sat on your knees? And then, like your grandma’s old perfume aroma, déjà vu washed over me and spoke delicately. The last time I was on my knees in this position was a few months ago, when I was praying desperately for a friend’s health.

Today I received the phone call that didn’t hold good news.

I pray constantly. I talk to God all throughout my day, I’m a journal fanatic, and I really like writing my prayers and lifting my hands. However, if I am being brutally honest, I rarely get on my knees to pray. I don’t know why – I don’t intentionally avoid it – but I really only do it when something is seriously wrong, when I feel really broken and lost.

So there I sat, on my knees, praying and pleading and offering anything that was left in me to God. I don’t even know if I was making sentences or speaking Webster-dictionary words, but I kept repeating myself – weeping and crumbling right where I kneeled.

At 9 PM, clean-face and composed, I was meeting my friends for dinner. (Yeah, it’s a Friday night. I may have forgotten to mention the college-thrill.)

My friend Carlie asked me how my day was.

I thought about the classic, “Good! How was yours,” but settled on the more authentic version: “It was rough. I cried a lot today. I literally lied on my floor and then prayed on my knees sobbing – I hadn’t done that in a while.”

I was expecting her to comfort me, to ask me if I’m okay. I’m not a big crier in general, so I was readying myself to ease her concerns and assure her, yes, I was fine. When she opened her mouth to speak, it wasn’t what I expected.

”Yeah,” Carlie said. “I sometimes think that’s right where God wants us. You know? Like He wants us on our knees praying and weeping and calling out to him?”

The perfume aroma washed over me again, but instead of déjà vu, it was the strong sense of clarity this time. Like the seal on a bag, when you run your fingers across it to close it, my mind – slowly then quickly – slid and shifted and something clicked. Erica, God wants you there.

We are dependent on Him. God wants the broken, the bruised, the baggage we carry. God wants us – us walking and praying, us writing and speaking, us on our knees surrendering.

God finds us where we are at. God finds us when we are at the end of our ropes, when we’ve hit our walls, when we feel like a piece of fruit that’s been lying in the sun – dry and drained and desperate.

Drop to your knees and surrender. He will meet you where you lie.

You lift me up, You never leave me thirsty,
When I am weak, when I’m lost and searching,
I find you on my knees
— Kari Jobe