Every Knee Shall Bow
The English word "knee" originated from an Anglo-Saxon word (the Anglo-Saxons were a tribe of the Saxons, in Germany, who became a major power in the islands of Britain; from "Anglo" came the word "English"), neow, which meant knee. Because the original word is defined by the word itself, it's unclear why that particular joint was given that name, whereas, for example, "elbow" means a bow shaped like an L i.e. a bent elbow looks like an "L." The English word for "kneel" originated from a different word, the Old English (which developed from Anglo-Saxon) word kneole, which meant to bend the knee, not merely in walking, but in kneeling.
"Knee" is used to translate the Hebrew word pronounced beh-rek (see also Translation Of Translations), which refers specifically to the knee. The Hebrew word for kneel, pronounced baw-rawk, although formed from the word for knee, and meaning to kneel, had a greater connotation, as to bless or praise.
In matters of the LORD (see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD) and His people, kneeling is a natural act of humility and worship.
"95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker [see Christ The Creator]" (Psalm 95:6 KJV)
In due time, all of humanity, that chooses to repent and accept the offer of salvation that the LORD has made available, will fulfill the Prophecy "unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."
"45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth [see The Future Of Earth]: for I am God, and there is none else. 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." (Isaiah 45:22-23 KJV)
"Unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear"
God's people have always prayed before Him by kneeling, sometimes also with hands upward toward heaven (as with Solomon and Ezra, in the examples below), but always kneeling (as with Daniel, in the example below).
"8:54 And it was so, that when Solomon [see Israelite Monarchy - The United Kingdom] had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven." (1 Kings 8:54 KJV)
While The Messiah taught His followers to pray to The Father (see the Fact Finder question below), people often came and knelt before Jesus in asking for His miraculous help or healing.
"10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother [see Works Means Obedience and Grace Into Licentiousness]" (Matthew 10:17-19 KJV)
Just before He was taken captive by the mob on the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus repeatedly knelt in prayer to God. Ironically, when Jesus arose from prayer, He encountered the one who "rose up" against Him - Judas the traitor.
"22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed [see The Places Where The Messiah Prayed], 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Perhaps the most blasphemous part of the torture carried out by the Roman military thugs was their kneeling before Him, mocking Him as a king. Those cowards will bow before Him again in the future, in very different circumstances i.e. "unto Me every knee shall bow" of Isaiah 45:23, quoted above.
"27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 27:30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head [see Before The Battle Line]" (Matthew 27:28-30 KJV)
The followers of the Christ routinely knelt in prayer, even under the most extreme circumstances (as well as because of them). As Stephen was being stoned to death, he knelt and prayed to God for the forgiveness of the men who were murdering him - "he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."
"7:55 But he, being full of The Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?], 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Peter (see also Peter's Ministry and Peter's Prophecy) knelt in prayer to God at the resurrection of Tabitha (while tolerating no kneeling before him, or any other man i.e. "10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man" Acts 10:25-26 KJV).
"9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise [see Why Were Their Deaths Interrupted?]. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 9:41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. 9:42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord." (Acts 9:40-42 KJV)
The apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry), who, prior to his conversion, was one of those who took part in the stoning of Stephen ("22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him" Acts 22:20 KJV), and perhaps of the torture of Christ Himself (see Was Paul Among Them?) prayed by kneeling.
"20:35 I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all." (Acts 20:35-36 KJV)
"14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living [see Could Christ Return Tonight?]. 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ [see also Christ's Mercy Seat]. 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:9-12 KJV)