PDA

View Full Version : Why pray with eyes closed?



iouae
March 26th, 2016, 06:02 AM
That's it really.

I did a quick concordance search concerning praying and nowhere did I find any mention of closing one's eyes during prayer?

So why does it seem compulsory these days to close one's eyes?

Grosnick Marowbe
March 26th, 2016, 06:37 AM
That's it really.

I did a quick concordance search concerning praying and nowhere did I find any mention of closing one's eyes during prayer?

So why does it seem compulsory these days to close one's eyes?

I was gonna say something witty, however, I'll say this instead. If we keep our eyes closed it puts us in a position of humility, quietness, prevents distraction and helps us to concentrate on what is being prayed for.

iouae
March 26th, 2016, 07:06 AM
Thanks for the reply Grosnick.

In John 17:1 Jesus prayed lifting His eyes to heaven.

Is it not possible that closing eyes is just a tradition? So far I have not been able to find it's origins.

Nanja
March 26th, 2016, 05:39 PM
When I'm awake I pray according to God's Will and offer Praise to Him throughout the day. Even in sleep I pray and offer Praise to God throughout the night.

So because I am a Child of God and are led by His Spirit Rom. 8:14,
my eyes open and close according to His Will, not mine Eph. 1:11; 3:20,
and I never even give it a thought! :)

~~~~~

Epoisses
March 26th, 2016, 06:14 PM
So why does it seem compulsory these days to close one's eyes?

Because I don't want to see God's lips when he says no.

No is an answer to prayer by the way, most Christians haven't figured that out.

Nick M
March 26th, 2016, 08:10 PM
I don't.

Town Heretic
March 26th, 2016, 09:43 PM
I've been in many churches where the pastor intoned, "Every head bowed, every eye closed." That isn't a call in my Presbyterian home. Our little church has lovely stained glass windows. The more recent additions, behind the alter, were necessitated by a storm and were designed and created by my mother years and years ago. Two of the forward windows are clear, pre-civil war glass that warps a bit, but they give a lovely view of a meadow. I find them as comforting as great music and part of the experience.

patrick jane
March 26th, 2016, 09:49 PM
When I'm awake I pray according to God's Will and offer Praise to Him throughout the day. Even in sleep I pray and offer Praise to God throughout the night.

So because I am a Child of God and are led by His Spirit Rom. 8:14,
my eyes open and close according to His Will, not mine Eph. 1:11; 3:20,
and I never even give it a thought! :)

~~~~~
You're special

patrick jane
March 26th, 2016, 09:51 PM
Because I don't want to see God's lips when he says no.

No is an answer to prayer by the way, most Christians haven't figured that out.

God answers prayers that aren't selfish. All the time, everyday, or sometimes years later.

patrick jane
March 26th, 2016, 10:03 PM
Pray withe your Eyes Wide Shut

iouae
March 27th, 2016, 12:58 AM
I've been in many churches where the pastor intoned, "Every head bowed, every eye closed." That isn't a call in my Presbyterian home. Our little church has lovely stained glass windows. The more recent additions, behind the alter, were necessitated by a storm and were designed and created by my mother years and years ago. Two of the forward windows are clear, pre-civil war glass that warps a bit, but they give a lovely view of a meadow. I find them as comforting as great music and part of the experience.

What you say in your first line is probably the issue I wish to address.

Closing eyes, holding hands, bowing heads creates a barrier to public prayer sometimes.

I like it when someone is talking to me, maybe in person or from the pulpit, and suddenly he is saying, eyes wide open, maybe looking at me, or looking up, something like "Father, please help solve this problem, because you have the power to, and you are gracious and full of love for us..." or whatever.

What I like about this is that at first you may even think he is still speaking to you, but then you realise he is speaking to the Heavenly Father. So, like it or not, you are now a partner in his prayer.

Most folks do not mind, particularly if he is praying about your problem which you have just told him about. Right there and then, without him having to say "I will pray for you" he IS praying for you.

iouae
March 27th, 2016, 01:13 AM
Because I don't want to see God's lips when he says no.

No is an answer to prayer by the way, most Christians haven't figured that out.


All the great miracles in the Bible were done to further the Gospel, not to further personal, materialistic, selfish ambitions. So, as James says, we ask and receive not, because we ask amiss.

That said, when I approach God, I do it with the expectation of a "yes" from a gracious God. I have been in personal crises and emergencies, even life-threatening circumstances where I have cried out, and received help.

I was in a bicycle race not many years ago, and the crank of my bicycle fell off. I carried on walking, thanking God for His grace, knowing that he was going to help me finish the race. I came to a pickup truck where someone just happened to have a bicycle crank in the back, and he fixed my bike and I finished the race. The cherry on top was that I still beat my son to the finish, even after walking for 25 minutes. God just likes to show his kindness and glory to those who expect help from Him. Does not every child expect help from their parents, who are not half as benevolent as God?

exminister
March 27th, 2016, 01:35 AM
Matthew 6:5-7

Perhaps it is related to the hypocrisy of boastful prayer in public where ones piety is on display.
I can't see that I am being seen with my eyes closed.
We all open our eyes at times in public prayer. Doesn't that put you focus on those around you instead?

iouae
March 27th, 2016, 01:46 AM
Matthew 6:5-7

Perhaps it is related to the hypocrisy of boastful prayer in public where ones piety is on display.
I can't see that I am being seen with my eyes closed.
We all open our eyes at times in public prayer. Doesn't that put you focus on those around you instead?

Relative to your last sentence and the assumption that we can focus better with our eyes closed - humans manage to do the most complicated jobs, requiring intense focus, and they do this perfectly fine with their eyes open. Praying to God with eyes closed, IMO is NOT about focus, but rather a tradition. Jews pray at the Wailing Wall, eyes open, reading from a book, head bobbing. The guy from Fiddler on the Roof just spoke to God, eyes wide open, head looking skywards, saying "Would it foil some vast eternal plan, if I were a wealthy man?" etc.

I could make the opposite case that closing eyes can make one more sleepy. That said, most times I too pray with eyes closed, probably through habit.

Ps. I like the motorbike in your avatar.

Nanja
March 27th, 2016, 05:24 AM
You're special


All God's Chosen People in Christ which He Loved before the foundation Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Tim. 1:9 are special to Him!

Deut. 7:6
For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

~~~~~

exminister
March 27th, 2016, 05:31 AM
Relative to your last sentence and the assumption that we can focus better with our eyes closed - humans manage to do the most complicated jobs, requiring intense focus, and they do this perfectly fine with their eyes open. Praying to God with eyes closed, IMO is NOT about focus, but rather a tradition. Jews pray at the Wailing Wall, eyes open, reading from a book, head bobbing. The guy from Fiddler on the Roof just spoke to God, eyes wide open, head looking skywards, saying "Would it foil some vast eternal plan, if I were a wealthy man?" etc.

I could make the opposite case that closing eyes can make one more sleepy. That said, most times I too pray with eyes closed, probably through habit.

Ps. I like the motorbike in your avatar.

I agree it's just traditional. No rule either way. Whatever is best for you at the time.
I found this link you might like
http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/do-i-have-to-close-my-eyes-when-i-pray/


:zoomin: Thanks.

Nick M
March 27th, 2016, 06:54 AM
Our little church has lovely stained glass windows.

They were installed by the Temple Knights as a clue to where they hid the Holy Grail. Yes, I had to do it, this is TOL.

iouae
March 27th, 2016, 07:38 AM
I found this link you might like
http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/do-i-have-to-close-my-eyes-when-i-pray/


:zoomin: Thanks.

She makes some good points.

I think God is glad if we remember Him in every little thing we do throughout the day. If He takes note of every sparrow which falls, He would prefer a one-sentence informal prayer with eyes-wide-open, which shows Him we are thinking of Him, to nothing but formal prayers once or twice a day.

TulipBee
March 27th, 2016, 08:10 AM
While God created the deafs who lipread is proof that the eyes wide shut are not required.

Epoisses
March 27th, 2016, 02:05 PM
God answers prayers that aren't selfish. All the time, everyday, or sometimes years later.

I'm not selfish! I put extra money in the plate so he hears me!!

Epoisses
March 27th, 2016, 02:07 PM
All the great miracles in the Bible were done to further the Gospel, not to further personal, materialistic, selfish ambitions. So, as James says, we ask and receive not, because we ask amiss.

That said, when I approach God, I do it with the expectation of a "yes" from a gracious God. I have been in personal crises and emergencies, even life-threatening circumstances where I have cried out, and received help.

I was in a bicycle race not many years ago, and the crank of my bicycle fell off. I carried on walking, thanking God for His grace, knowing that he was going to help me finish the race. I came to a pickup truck where someone just happened to have a bicycle crank in the back, and he fixed my bike and I finished the race. The cherry on top was that I still beat my son to the finish, even after walking for 25 minutes. God just likes to show his kindness and glory to those who expect help from Him. Does not every child expect help from their parents, who are not half as benevolent as God?

I'm not selfish! I do this and I do that and I do other things to. I'm always doing for God and I do in the open to so he can see everything I'm doing.

genuineoriginal
March 28th, 2016, 01:15 PM
In John 17:1 Jesus prayed lifting His eyes to heaven.

Is it not possible that closing eyes is just a tradition? So far I have not been able to find it's origins.
"Praying" with eyes closed is a natural next step after people are taught to "pray" by thinking at God instead of by praying to God.

patrick jane
March 28th, 2016, 01:25 PM
People bow there head or close there eyes to avoid visual distractions that could disrupt concentration and the power of the prayer.

It is done for reverence

glorydaz
March 28th, 2016, 02:08 PM
When I look out at the beautiful clouds, the trees, the mountains, I pray with my eyes open because I see God there. When I look into the face of a child, I pray with my eyes open thanking God for this wonderful blessing. When I'm in a crowded room or a place with distractions, I close my eyes. I agree...there is no need to close our eyes, but there are times it's right to do so.

Stuu
March 31st, 2016, 04:25 AM
No is an answer to prayer by the way, most Christians haven't figured that out.
God, can you cure this child of his cancer?

'No.'

Stuart

ok doser
March 31st, 2016, 03:35 PM
God, can you cure this child of his cancer?

'No.'

Stuart


God, can you cure Stuu of his retardedness?

patrick jane
March 31st, 2016, 07:21 PM
God, can you cure Stuu of his retardedness?

https://youtu.be/TRcEPffljGw

Stuu
March 31st, 2016, 11:32 PM
God, can you cure Stuu of his retardedness?
Your response is a sign that you have no response, so it is interesting that you posted anyway.

But of course what response could there be to gods allowing children to get cancer? No decent human with the power to stop it would hesitate for even a second. Maybe gods aren't all they are cracked up to be.

They sure aren't loving.

Stuart

iamaberean
April 1st, 2016, 03:59 AM
I was gonna say something witty, however, I'll say this instead. If we keep our eyes closed it puts us in a position of humility, quietness, prevents distraction and helps us to concentrate on what is being prayed for.

Right on, they say this is the same reason one closes their eyes when we kiss.

genuineoriginal
April 1st, 2016, 12:37 PM
Praying with your eyes closed is not a problem.

The problem comes when you pray with your mind closed.

Town Heretic
April 1st, 2016, 03:02 PM
Praying with your eyes closed is not a problem.

The problem comes when you pray with your mind closed.
Though this can be an advantage when voting. (either)

iouae
April 3rd, 2016, 03:34 AM
While driving to work, it is probably better that one prays with one's eyes open.

I know that God is extremely happy to hear from us at all times, even while driving to work.

The prayer does not even have to be that long all the time. Think of your child just giving you a quick call to say they were thinking of you, and how happy that makes one compared to no call.

Greek2Me
April 3rd, 2016, 07:00 PM
Tradition isn't automatically a bad thing, if it has purpose and/or meaning. My conservative Wesleyan churches tend to pray with eyes closed and, while it is generally unspoken, the intent seems to be to avoid distractions and embarassment. Since we practice "altar calls" and often ask "are there any upraised hands" for prayer or spiritual needs, it generally encourages some more timid individual to step forward to kneel and pray or seek prayer who might not do so if they sensed that others were watching. We simply want to minimize anything that might hinder someone who is "teetering" on the edge of making an important spiritual decision. Don't read anything more into it than a sincere desire to focus on Him and give others the freedom to be as open and unhindered as possible. It's more a "courtesy" than a tradition, in our camp anyway.

patrick jane
April 3rd, 2016, 07:03 PM
Tradition isn't automatically a bad thing, if it has purpose and/or meaning. My conservative Wesleyan churches tend to pray with eyes closed and, while it is generally unspoken, the intent seems to be to avoid distractions and embarassment. Since we practice "altar calls" and often ask "are there any upraised hands" for prayer or spiritual needs, it generally encourages some more timid individual to step forward to kneel and pray or seek prayer who might not do so if they sensed that others were watching. We simply want to minimize anything that might hinder someone who is "teetering" on the edge of making an important spiritual decision. Don't read anything more into it than a sincere desire to focus on Him and give others the freedom to be as open and unhindered as possible. It's more a "courtesy" than a tradition, in our camp anyway.
Makes sense

Town Heretic
April 5th, 2016, 01:51 PM
Well, this is the wrong thread for that post...:eek: :carryon:

Clete
April 5th, 2016, 02:24 PM
That's it really.

I did a quick concordance search concerning praying and nowhere did I find any mention of closing one's eyes during prayer?

So why does it seem compulsory these days to close one's eyes?

It's symbolic of what most people do with their minds when they pray.

That is to say that most of what passes for prayer these days is little more than superstitious ritual that means nothing and accomplishes just as much.

You're far ahead of the game having done nothing more than taken the time to figure out that the practice has no biblical president (which doesn't imply a prohibition, by the way). It would never have occurred to most people to even ask the question, never mind to take the time to look it up.

I'd be curious to know if a member of the Church of Christ, who rejects such things as the use of musical instruments during worship on the basis of there not being any biblical president for it, also rejects closed eye prayer on the same basis?

Resting in Him,
Clete

P.S. I agree with those of you who have commented on some of the positive aspects of closed eye prayer, by the way. Don't take this post as my attempting to argue against the practice.