Why do we close our eyes when we pray?

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by regener8ed, Dec 7, 2009.

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  1. regener8ed

    regener8ed Puritan Board Freshman

    I've always wondered this.

    Is it a matter of tradition and culture?

    Is there biblical warrant?

    Is it simply a matter of tuning out our temporal surroundings?
  2. Beoga

    Beoga Puritan Board Freshman

    For me it is 1 and 3. I am not aware of any Biblical Warrant for this practice.
  3. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Because our parent taught us to do so. 1 and 3. There is no Biblical warrant.
  4. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    1 and 3. It helps prevent distractions.
  5. Claudiu

    Claudiu Puritan Board Junior

    :offtopic: but do you guys ever pray with your eyes open?
    I do sometimes. For example, if I am in the mountains or a scenic place alone.

    -----Added 12/7/2009 at 09:27:38 EST-----

    This is the case for me and most likely the reason why people do it.
  6. Simply_Nikki

    Simply_Nikki Puritan Board Junior

    Yeah, I have prayed at various times with my eyes open, like while cooking, while driving, while cleaning or just lying awake in bed. I don't know if that's proper or not. Sometimes I get distracted, but I also get distracted with my thoughts just closing my eyes. So regardless of the circumstance the temptation for being distracted is always there. For me at least.
  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I had a pastor once who nearly always kept his eyes open when praying. There you'd be in a prayer group, praying away, and you'd peek up at some point only to see him staring at you. Freaky.
  8. Susanna

    Susanna Puritan Board Freshman

    maybe because if we're bowing our heads we'd be just looking at the floor
    why do we close our eyes

    why do we bow our heads

    why do we fold our hands ....I think this last one was cooked up so that wiggly children (boys) might be better contained :smug:

    It's a good question, though. Thank you.
  9. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

    It may have something to do with Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  10. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    I pray with my head bowed and my eyes closed when I am in church/family devotions/dinner table. But when I pray in private I always pray:
    1) While walking (either outside or just in circles around the room)
    2) Out loud
    3) And with my eyes open

    I'm reminded of the story of Stonewall Jackson. Jackson was a Presbyterian Deacon, but prior to his conversion he had almost no Christian background. So when he was saved he thought that he was required to close his eyes while he prayed. The only problem was, Jackson couldn't seem to pray unless he was walking about. When his pastor told him that it was merely a tradition and a helpful tool (and not a biblical command) he was overjoyed! He said that he was so glad that he could open his eyes when he prayed, because he was tired of stubbing his toes on rocks and roots! :lol:
  11. Dao

    Dao Puritan Board Freshman

    I always pray with my eyes opened.:wwbd:
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    He was only staring at you when he was praying for GROSS SINNERS! (LAWD, Have mercy on those vile sinners in our midst...the one I'm looking at right now) Ha, just kidding. That WOULD be freaky.

    We are supposed to have every head bowed and every eye closed so we don't know who raised their hands to get saved, right?
  13. jason d

    jason d Puritan Board Freshman

    1 & 3 - i mostly close them, however they are open if i am praying while driving or walking or praying out of Scritpure (if I don't have something memorized that I want to pray, like a particular Psalm)
  14. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    While driving I prefer not to have them closed for more than a minute at a time...
  15. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Even though I was taught to pray eye shut. I often pray with my eyes open, especially when there are wee ones around. I also often pray standing or walking about.
  16. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    So that if I have to unleash a vicious karate chop, my victim will be surprised.

    And because I was taught to do so in Sunday school.
  17. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    I close my eyes when praying corporately, or when in a safe place to do so alone, but probably pray more often with them open. I pray while driving, walking, working, etc., and closed eyes are not always safe.
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