Yes, you can pray laying down and sitting down. It is not disrespectful to pray in this posture. The posture of our body makes no difference to God, He simply wants us to be focused while we pray and to have our hearts fixed on Him so that our words and our heart are aligned while we commune with Him.
Jesus was referring to something similar when He said to the Pharisees, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9)
In context, Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees for placing their traditions above the commandments of God. He even used an example of how the Pharisees teach that as long as you “give to God” you do not need to honor your parents by assisting them in provision.
Even though this passage is not referring to prayer the principle still applies.
If we honor God with what we say but our hearts are not in it then we are acting in hypocrisy. If we simply go through the motions of prayer and say the right words and have the right posture, then our prayer is nothing in the sight of God and it does not please Him.
So we see that it does not matter what position we are in when we pray, the important thing is that our hearts are drawn to the Lord, and that the words that we are speaking are in line with our hearts and not just simply religious rhetoric.
Who prayed laying down in the Bible?
David in the book of Psalms mentions multiple times that he would pray on his bed. He probably did this either sitting or lying down, but judging by the fact that it was on his bed, he most likely was lying down.
“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” (Psalms 63:6)
“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” (Psalm 4:4)
Both of these verses mention that King David meditated on his bed.
Now, I know that these verses don’t say outright that he prayed on his bed, rather it says that he meditated on his bed, which simply means to think and muse on the word of God.
However, Psalms 5:1-3, which was written by David, refers to meditation as a form of prayer to God.
“Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.” (Psalms 5:1-3)
Notice, David uses the term meditation and prayer interchangeable.
He says, “Give ear to my words” and “For to you I will pray” but right in the middle of both of these he says, “Consider my meditation.” So biblical meditation is a form of prayer.
In fact, meditation is meant to be spoken out and not just thought upon. This is why God told Joshua in Joshua chapter 1 that “this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.” (Joshua 1:8)
So when we meditate we should be thinking about the word of God and speaking it out to the Lord and God considers this prayer. And apparently, David did this often while he was laying down in bed.
Does it matter what position you pray in?
It makes no difference what position you pray in. The Bible mentions many different positions people pray and worship in. There are mentions of standing, kneeling, lying down on their face and back, sitting, and even dancing.
Here are some scriptural references to show the different positions that men of God prayed and worshipped in throughout the Bible:
Lying down on the face:
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)
“Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:6)
Lying down on the back:
“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” (Psalm 4:4) This implies lying down on the back.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25)
“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18)
“Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.” (Psalm 149:3)
“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.” (2 Samuel 6:14)
As you can see from these verses above there is no set position we should pray in. It is completely up to the individual. However, what is not up to the individual is the heart attitude while that person “prays.” If the heart is wandering from God yet the mouth and body seem close to Him, it is nothing but religious routine and I can assure you God is not near.
So whatever position allows our heart and mind to be more focused on God and keeps our eyes set on Him is the position that we should pray in. In other words, do whatever benefits your prayer life the most.
There is extreme freedom in Christianity because it is not about the outward appearances or the hoops we have to jump through. Jesus jumped through all the hoops for us when He died on the cross.
Now we simply appear before the Lord with the pure desire to know Him and be filled with Himself. And whatever position we are in as we do this is perfect, so long as our heart is full of faith and sincerity with a pure to know God.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with Him.
Here are some more articles on prayer that I’ll think you’ll enjoy:
God bless you all and enjoy!