There are many postures to prayer. Kneeling is the one we associate most with prayer, unless you’re a protesting NFL player. The Bible records various ways of approaching God: Abraham fell on his face (Genesis 17:3); Moses stretched out his hands (Exodus 9:27-29). Solomon knelt (I Kings 8:54) and Jesus looked up to heaven (Mark 6:41). Bowing is recommended in the Psalms (95:6 for example). Prostration is perhaps the most severe. Each prayer posture has its own expression of petition, humility, or exuberance.
Eastern meditation practices of Hinduism and Buddhism have a different approach. Bodily positions, particularly in yoga, are called “asanas,” such as the lotus position, sitting with crossed legs and the spinal column straight. The lotus posture can get more specific, with the tongue against the roof of the mouth, chin tucked in, and shoulders back. In the most demonic form of yoga, kundalini yoga, practitioners may sway, as the snake at the base of the spine rises upward and the flow of “energy” awakens the mind to god-consciousness.
There are also finger postures. Pressing on finger endings is said to stimulate energy connections. Want to get rid of demons? The Karana mudra (hand gesture) of Buddhism consists of pressing the thumb against the two middle fingers with the index finger and little finger raised upward; its purpose is to expel demons and heal sicknesses. (It’s also been adopted as a salute in Satanism.) Holding the hands at the chest, intertwining all fingers except the index fingers, which are straight up touching each other, is supposed to liberate one from snake spirits.
Christians proponents of yoga, beware. What you thought were meaningless gestures are intentional ways of opening doors to the demonic world. Certain hand positions relate to astrological signs and planets; others connect with sexuality; the hands with palms pressed together firmly intends to harmonize the male and female, good and evil, yin/yang, sections of the brain. Touching index finger to thumb (chin mudra) is said to connect the elements fire and air. This excites “prana” energy and stimulates the mooladhara (first) chakra at the base of the spine where the Shakti goddess, kundalini serpent is awakened. In yoga, this is believed to evoke the primordial, sexual power of god.
Christian postures of prayer are about connecting with a transcendent God who is omnipotent, holy, and separate from ourselves. The prayer postures of meditation, yoga and other Eastern disciplines are about wakening the god within. The choice is clear. You can choose to worship the Creator or your own ego, the created. But be careful about the prayer postures you use to find God.
An encouraging word: THE COMBAT ZONE
David called upon the Lord to, “Hide me in the shadow of your wings from . . . my mortal enemies who surround me” (Psalm 17:8). The once-shepherd boy was keenly aware that adversaries were out to destroy him. Peter put it this way: Your adversary the devil, as a roaring like, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). If you aren’t aware that Satan is out to get you, you’re living with a false sense of security. The truth is that Christians live in a combat zone. The only way to spiritually survive is to be battle-ready. Don’t be lulled by the kind of comfortable Christianity that ignores the real demonic warfare we all face every day. Denying the reality of demons and the devil only increases the risk of danger.