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As Christians Do We Or Should We Close Our Eyes When Praying?

Lately I’ve been wondering why people close their eyes in prayer, should we close our eyes? Why do people close them then?

If you have come here for the short answer, from the research I’ve done, no you don’t.

So i’ve asked a few people and all i have is, "To concentrate, to lessen distractions around you."

I’ve done some looking around and it doesn’t appear in the bible anywhere that we should be closing our eyes. I find that when I close my eyes i start to fall asleep, so i don’t. If you know of a verse that I’ve missed let me know.

What does the bible say about prayer then?

Matthew 6:5-8

5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Whats your ideas on prayer? do you close your eyes? Why?

 

PS: I had just written alot about this when i lost it all, so due to my anger i just wrote it short and sweet.

  • Good stuff! I agree.
    I wonder… do you have to pray out loud? I can’t think of any reason why you would, but for some reason I have this question, which makes me think I must have come across something suggesting that…. hrmmm

    Check out chapter 10 (and 9 too, if you’re keen) of John Piper’s book When I Don’t Desire God. (Get it as a pdf here)
    Its easy to read (and free), but if you really can’t be bothered, just check out pages 161-163 (of the book, not of the pdf)

    hayesy

    May 7, 2008

  • Is the typical Christian prayer posture (eye’s closed or head bowed or hands together) borrowed concepts of paganism?

    Eg: Has the pagan practise of ‘symbols, gestures, and positions are required for the gods to hear us’ influenced Christian prayer?

    Haven’t looked into these questions at all – just throwing it out there. Also haven’t had a chance to read the Piper except so maybe he already addresses this

    jpj

    May 7, 2008

  • dave told me about a place in the bible about bowing the heads.

    Luke 18:9-14
    9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10″Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    13″But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    14″I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    something to think about..

    haysey i read the pages but i didnt see how it was relevant to closing your eyes and bowing the head, more explaining why we pray etc.. (correct me if im wrong??)

    VK

    May 7, 2008

  • Those chapters are on exactly that: why we should pray. But pages 161-163 talk about where.
    Just interesting for how seriously Piper takes it. We should learn from him.

    hayesy

    May 7, 2008

  • yea, well your going off topic :P
    My post was more how to pray.. Why we pray is another huge topic altogether :)

    vk

    May 7, 2008

  • “But pages 161-163 talk about where
    Where = part of how.

    Completely on-topic. Not that there’s anything wrong with going off topic, right?

    How’s Don’t Waste Your Life going?

    hayesy

    May 8, 2008

  • “Faith cometh by hearing” and seeing is contrary to faith. Doubt is a by-product of what we see. Just a thought. :)

    Donald

    December 17, 2009

  • It’s funny that I’ve been brought up closing my eyes in prayer. And even though I haven’t felt that you had to close your eyes for God to hear you. But I’ve always done it. Today as i was praying i was trying to think where in the Bible it says anything about closing your eyes to pray. I couldn’t think of one, and then looked up this site and searched the internet, which confirmed my thoughts. I can’t even find an account of anyone closing their eyes to pray. So why on earth and I trying to force my child to learn to close their eyes to pray. Mmm. Maybe a change is in the pipeline.

    Brian

    January 10, 2010

  • I think its a good thing to teach your kids when their young, to prevent them from looking round and mucking about and treat it as a serious thing when praying to God. When they grow up a bit and mature, then you could let them know.. haha

    Ardorpes

    January 10, 2010

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