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Praying with a Yielded Posture

Updated: May 27, 2023

Encounter: On this Memorial Day weekend, make time to meditate and reflect on Matthews account of the Sermon on the Mount beginning in Matthew chapter 5. Specifically take time to read through verses 13-16 a few times, underlining any words that seem to stand out to you. Begin to think about what it looks like to have a yielded posture in your relationship with God in prayer. Then read through Philippians 2:1-18 and go through the same practice.

DEFINITION OF YIELD: To admit to be true, to concede; to submit and comply with; giving up a demand, right or claim

“Why won’t they just yield!” My Mom, sister and I were on our way to Indianapolis and as we merged onto the interstate a big semi refused to yield to the left. With nowhere else to go, we had to immediately slow down and move to the side of the road to avoid a collision. It was scary and avoidable. Usually, as you notice there is a car merging onto the highway, you move to the left to make space. Not only is it common courtesy, it is the law.

We were also talking about how people respond differently in making turns or yielding to others in a parking lot. Mom said there used to be a sense of etiquette. Of waiting your turn. Of knowing you were going to have to give up your urgent need to get your way and allow someone else to go before you. Nowhere is a person's hard heart more visible than refusing to yield to someone. Whether on a highway or within the heart, you can leave the world tasteless and dark.

In learning to live life with God we can look like the semi-driver who refused to budge. Living life in relationship requires humility and a submitting to one another (except in the case of abuse). What should life look like in the kingdom of God? Those who follow Jesus must live lives that demonstrate the values of the kingdom of heaven. They must be living witnesses that the kingdom way of life is counter-cultural, regardless of the culture from which they come.

At times, we are willing to sacrifice reason and safety so we can stay in our lane. As in the mantra of Frank Sinatra, we did it our way! To be honest with God and to live a life clear of selfish motivations requires us to come to sit with God with open minds, hearts and hands. To be open to the Spirit’s encouragement and at the same time, open to yielding my way for God’s way. Not because we get some sort of immediate pat on the back, but because it’s the way our spirit was formed to be. It is the way we do not lose our flavor and our light is not hidden.

On this Memorial Day Sunday, we will gather to yield our life to the ways of the kingdom and honor those in history who yielded their lives unto death to give others life as we point to the One who was the ultimate example of this sacrificial love…

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,

he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Yielding to the One,

Pastor T


  • In what areas of your life have you found it difficult to yield to God? When you pray, are there areas of your life and heart that you keep from God? If so, what are they? Why?

  • In what ways is yielding counter-cultural?

  • Do you think yielding is necessary for our spiritual formation? Why or why not?


What physical posture do you take in prayer? How could taking on new postures of openness encourage you in making prayer a dialogue. How might this be a metaphor for your relationship with God or how you view God?

Gather: Discuss your reflections in your small group. Have your views changed about a specific doctrine or belief about God or the church? What changed? Why and how?

Do you feel God calling you to embrace a new doctrine or belief about him or the church? If you are having a difficult time embracing it, describe why. What might help you to yield to God’s prompting?

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