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The Pilgrims Progress discuss Why do we close our eyes when we pray? in the The Christian Walk forums; 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 ...

  1. #1
    regener8ed is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Why do we close our eyes when we pray?

    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?
    Jon Adams
    Member of Grace Bible Church
    Pleasant Hill, CA

  2. #2
    Beoga's Avatar
    Beoga is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    For me it is 1 and 3. I am not aware of any Biblical Warrant for this practice.
    Brian Vandenburg
    Member of Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA)
    Vancouver, WA
    "The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God."-Westminster Confession of Faith

  3. #3
    LawrenceU's Avatar
    LawrenceU is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    Because our parent taught us to do so. 1 and 3. There is no Biblical warrant.
    'There's nae jouking in the cause of Christ' - James Guthrie

    We shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God's grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

    Lawrence Underwood, Jr.
    Pastor - Providence Family Fellowship / Mobile, Alabama
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  4. #4
    au5t1n is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    1 and 3. It helps prevent distractions.

  5. #5
    Claudiu is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    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-----

    Quote Originally Posted by regener8ed View Post

    Is it simply a matter of tuning out our temporal surroundings?
    This is the case for me and most likely the reason why people do it.
    Claudiu - Twitter | Blog
    Ultimately all things are disciplined by theology

  6. #6
    Simply_Nikki's Avatar
    Simply_Nikki is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    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.
    Nikki Edmond
    Desert Springs Presbyterian Church (PCA)
    Tucson, AZ

    Principle and Practice Blog
    Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

  7. #7
    Jack K's Avatar
    Jack K is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
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    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.
    Jack K.
    PCA, worshiping with some fine Baptists in Colorado
    Gospel Teacher website

  8. #8
    Susanna's Avatar
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    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

    It's a good question, though. Thank you.
    Sue
    CRC
    MI
    ---------------
    "Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, and takes off the relish of spiritual things - that to you is sin." -Susanna Wesley

  9. #9
    Grillsy's Avatar
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    It may have something to do with Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    Willie Grills
    Saint Paul's Lutheran Church
    Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
    Ashland, KY

  10. #10
    Hamalas's Avatar
    Hamalas is offline. whippersnapper
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    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!
    Ben Franks

    I'm a member of Heartland Community Church (PCA) in Wichita, Kansas.
    I'm currently a student at Whitefield College majoring in Christian Classical Education.
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    "Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul...It is not he that reads most , but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian." - Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

  11. #11
    Dao's Avatar
    Dao
    Dao is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    I always pray with my eyes opened.
    Dao

  12. #12
    Pergamum's Avatar
    Pergamum is offline. Ordinary Guy (TM)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack K View Post
    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.
    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?
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
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  13. #13
    jason d's Avatar
    jason d is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    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. #14
    Sebastian Heck's Avatar
    Sebastian Heck is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    While driving I prefer not to have them closed for more than a minute at a time...
    Sebastian Heck
    PCA & Selbständige Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche in Deutschland (Free Evangelical-Reformed Church of Germany)
    Ph.D. student at Theological Universiteit Apeldoorn/Netherlands
    Church Planting in Germany
    Reformation2Germany

  15. #15
    LawrenceU's Avatar
    LawrenceU is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    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.
    'There's nae jouking in the cause of Christ' - James Guthrie

    We shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God's grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

    Lawrence Underwood, Jr.
    Pastor - Providence Family Fellowship / Mobile, Alabama
    LBC
    My Blog - Imprimis

    Deo Vindice

  16. #16
    jpfrench81 is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    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.
    Joshua F
    Mountain View Community Church
    Fort Collins, CO

  17. #17
    Mushroom's Avatar
    Mushroom is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    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.
    Brad

    PCA

    These toadies just keep holdin' me down, man!

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