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Why do we bow our heads, and why do we close our eyes, when we pray?

Started by Stephen Worrell, August 22, 2008, 09:27:13 pm

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Stephen Worrell

And you KNOW you Old South if you've ever heard the phrase "Ever' head bowed, ever' eye cloooooooosed ..."

Pete

We have a guest minister that comes, and always says for the altar call, "Every head up, every eye looking around...."
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

charityagape

I only do that when someone asks in church, and I guess that's just a routine custom we've gotten used to.  Personally I pray eyes open and usually doing something else, like the dishes.

sharonl

Quote from: charityagape on August 22, 2008, 09:33:31 pm
I only do that when someone asks in church, and I guess that's just a routine custom we've gotten used to.  Personally I pray eyes open and usually doing something else, like the dishes.


Glad to hear that  - because that is how I pray - I just talk to God all the time - but I don't get on my knees, hands folded when I pray - there are times I bow my head but most of the time, I just talk to God.
Diamonds From Heaven - help for the hurting heart
http://gentle.org/sites/diamonds/
Beautiful gifts - the men love them http://chopsknives.com

DiscipleWhomJesusLoves

I think it's just to help us focus. Whatever helps you to focus.

DianeL

34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13

The Lord is my banner

The main reason most of do it is most likely conditioning from early age - even if you didn't go to church or see your parents pray, you would most likely have seen images in books and TV etc. presenting this image the message of how to pray "properly."

As with all religious traditions, we can re-evaluate the posture we use to pray now that we're Spirit-led.  We can take something good from it but not just default to it without thinking outside the box.
There is a place for closed eyes and bowed heads, but I would say probably a lot smaller place than it currently enjoys, and there are so many more ways to use our bodies when praying.

I always disliked the "Every head bowed and every eye closed" thing when an altar call was given at one of the churches I went to.  We'd hear the pastor going, "Thank you Lord, thank you Lord..." but unless we were on the ministry team we'd never find out who got saved.  Funny way to welcome a new baby!

When ministering to others, closing your eyes makes no sense at all.  This is something I would never have considered before hearing the suggestion - I think it was reading or hearing something from Bethel, Redding, that opened my eyes to that (haha!)
How can you be fully aware of how a person is responding to the Spirit if you have your eyes closed?  You could miss vital clues to lead your prayers further.

And lastly, a tremendously important thing I've found when being ministered to - some people minister the love of Christ through their eyes.
It's so precious, and how many more of us would walk in that if we weren't bound by the instruction, whether received or perceived, that closed eyes are proper?



sharonl

Also it shows great respect that we have for the Master and how humbled we are to be in His presence, but we are in His presence all the time, but just a few minutes to show our respect and to focus.
Diamonds From Heaven - help for the hurting heart
http://gentle.org/sites/diamonds/
Beautiful gifts - the men love them http://chopsknives.com