We know God answers “knee-mail”… but where did the term “knee-mail” come from?
The short answer is, we don’t know for sure who coined this popular term, though we can guess with confidence that the term arose in the late 1990s. The earliest citation of the term in print is 2000, and presumably the term was circulating orally for a year or two it finally made it into print. If you recall, in the late 1990s e-mail was becoming more commonplace in people’s homes and workplaces, so it seems like the right time period for someone to realize the hilarious pun of knee-mail and e-mail.
Knee-mail has all the makings of a Christian catchphrase: It rhymes, it references modern technology in a funny way, and it promotes the Biblical idea that God hears our prayers the instant we make them. What’s not to like?
In fact, the term caught on so quickly and was so widely used on church sign boards and on kitschy Christian merchandise that it almost immediately acquired the stink of cheesiness and cornball humor. Now it’s almost impossible to use the term without someone groaning or rolling their eyes. Be that as it may, it’s still a hilarious term and it’s still widely understood within Christian culture. There are moments when you want to mention prayer but you want to keep the atmosphere light and maybe humorous, and for those situations, the expression knee-mail might strike just the right tone.
The definition is below, and I’ll leave you with these words of timeless wisdom: when you send God your knee-mail, it never goes to his spam folder!