Recently I prayed with my eyes wide open! I have not done that for a long, long time. As a young child during family devotions I would on occasion open my eyes(just a slit or two) during prayer -- just to see if anyone else had their eyes open. Years later, there were many times carving up kilometres on pavement on my motorcycle when I would talk with God out loud. I figured no one but God could hear me, but as I prayed at 100 kph I figured it would be wise to keep my eyes open. But now here I was praying out loud in front of a group of people and my eyes were open, and not just a slit or two. My eyes were wide open!
See, I thought I would heed some advice on prayer given by Sherry Harney in her latest book, Praying with Eyes Wide Open (Baker Books: 2017). In this book co-authored by her husband Kevin Harney, Sherry points to a biblical truth that I knew, but never really took to life-practice. As she writes, "There are many and varied postures for prayer taught and modeled in the Bible. Closing your eyes is not one of them. And... neither is folding our hands." (18) In the opening chapter Sherry gives this challenge: "If you have never prayed out loud with other believers with your eyes open, I encourage you to try it.... It is hard to put into words, but I have seen it happen over and over again. Praying with eyes wide open is not just about the reality that we can pray at all times. It also deepens our prayer and connects us with God and with other people on a level we might never have experienced before."(25) Read More