It is a great privilege to pray to the Heavenly Father through the name of Jesus.
When we pray, we are going before God apart from the world. Personal communion with the Father is blessed when kneeling, because it shows our humility before Him and our adoration of Him. Daniel's example of kneeling in prayer is an example to us. Daniel 6:10, "Daniel…continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously." When we kneel, we are acknowledging that the Lord has authority over us and that we seek His wisdom and His will in our life. This position also reinforces our heart's desire to have forgiveness for our sins and to thank the Lord for His blessings.
Jesus prayed on His knees to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane: "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed." Luke 22:41. This is a powerful example.
Your question, though, is about public prayer. Jesus prayed publicly at the tomb of Lazarus: Jesus "raised His eyes" thanking His Father. John 11:41, 42. He publicly prayed thanking His Father for blessing the witness of the seventy that He sent out to spread the Gospel. Luke 10:21. The prayer in John 17 was most likely a public prayer. Kneeling is not mentioned in these examples. The same is true in the examples of congregational public prayers offered by Jesus' disciples in the upper room, Acts 1:14, 24.) However, kneeling in group or church prayer is mentioned here: Acts 20:36, "[Paul]…knelt down and prayed with them all," and in Acts 21:5, "…And after kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another."
Since there are Scriptural examples of both practices – kneeling and not kneeling in church – we suggest that when
- alone at home, kneeling in prayer is preferred.
- when alone in church, kneeling in prayer is authorized by Scripture, but not a rule that must be followed.
- when in a group setting in church, kneeling is also authorized by Scripture, but not a rule that must be followed.
Look to your conscience and pray for guidance in all things. And always pray in Jesus' name.