“Eyes Closed and Eyes Open” Prayers

We taught our children “eyes closed and eyes open” prayers. “Eyes closed prayers” are for meal times, bed times, family times, and church services. The posture shows a proper respect given our Heavenly Father, who though loving and merciful, is nonetheless all-powerful, holy, and Sovereign Creator of the universe. He’s not our buddy, chum, classmate, or pal. And though He calls us “friends,” we never mistake the roaring lion Aslan for the Cowardly Lion of Oz.

“Eyes open” prayer is for driving in the car. Eyes open prayers are the ooohs and aawwws of fireworks and the spontaneous outbursts of joy and gratitude when transfixed by the deep purple and orange clouds after a torrential thunderstorm. Eyes open prayers are for color-drenched sunsets and mountain peak shards sparkling with snow against an azure sky.

In all those serendipitous moments in life where we see beauty and wonder, our children did not say, “Oh, look at that pretty field of sunflowers.” Instead, through eyes open prayer they spoke directly to God: “How beautiful are the sunflowers You made!”

How did we come to “eyes closed and eyes open prayers?” We couldn’t figure out any other way to teach them to “pray without ceasing” and to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thes. 5:17-18). And as it turns out, the simple distinction taught our children reverential awe for a God who nonetheless calls us “friends.”

About the author : David Ingrassia

Dr. Ingrassia is an elder and the Stewarding Pastor of Charlotte Awake. A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, David has been a pastor for thirty years in New England and Charlotte. He is also the co-founder of The Marketplace Community, and founder of Life Communities Ministry; ministries bringing the Gospel in creative ways to the workplace. God called David to the ministry of Charlotte Awake and revival of the Lord’s church in the Charlotte area, across the country and around the world."

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