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Ask the Pastor

May 10, 2009

Why do we or why are we taught to bow our head and close our eyes in prayer?

People may have personal reasons for bowing their heads. I think the main reason is to close out distractions and also to humble ourselves outwardly. Obviously you should pray with your eyes open and head up if you are driving in your car. It would be unwise if you are the driver to take your eyes off the road. I pray when I drive and have heard others say the same thing.

We teach children to bow their heads and close their eyes in order to make a conscious effort to focus on God and humble ourselves before Him. When you talk to someone your attention shows that you care about them. It is easier to hear God when He speaks to us if we are not distracted.

There is no law or rule about our posture of prayer. Notice the following verse; it appears that Jesus has His eyes open and looks toward the sky. Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” John 17:1.

God sees our heart motive so we can pray standing, sitting, kneeling, lying down, head up, head down, eyes open or eyes closed, it really does not matter. However, the Bible has many verses which show people on their faces before God. If our request is urgent or extreme or deeply weighing you down your physical posture will change. Notice the following verse when Jesus is in the Garden before His crucifixion:

[Jesus] went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You [will]”

Mat 26:39.

Gordon


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One Comment leave one →
  1. Gordon permalink
    May 10, 2009 6:52 pm

    This is a great question! We need to continue asking questions so that we don’t stay in a rut.

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