When we were little, adults taught us to pray with our eyes closed. I suppose it had something to do with eliminating distractions or focusing on the One that we can’t see physically.
My son, Eli, has a different approach.
And I don’t plan on stopping him.
He prays with his eyes wide open. Just today, as we ate at Chick-fil-a, he scans the table and prays for specifically for what he sees. “Thank you, God, for Mommy, Daddy, Obie, Eli, Be-Paw, french fries, chicken, ketchup, Diet Coke, birds, cars, and napkins. Amen.”
In the last week, he has also prayed for Boz, swingsets, stuffed animals, choo-choo trains, medicine, and so much more.
Praying with our eyes closed sometimes gets us into a routine of casually thanking God for all the blessings but not really treasuring what He has given us.
Praying with our eyes wide open reminds us of the blessings, big and small, that He lavishes on us.
So glad my son is reteaching me how to pray.
and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” -Matthew 21:16
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
6 thoughts on “Praying With Your Eyes Wide Open”
The lessons they teach… 🙂
Sounds like a Johnny Cash song…."I keep my eyes wide open all the time" … We are all learning so much from little Eli & Obie. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Funny, but I get distracted with my eyes closed.
Though distraction is my middle name, I plan to do more "eyes wide open" praying. Thanks Eli!
I love reading these! I really need to find some time to come over and see Eli and Obie, I miss seeing them every Sunday!
What a blessing! Thanks for sharing your “life” stories with us all. What Eli did really made me stop and think about my prayer life. What I had thanked God for and more importantly what all I had not thanked him for. As I was thinking about all of this, a few things came to my mind. If I awoke tomorrow and for the rest of my life I would only be surrounded by the things I had given thanks to God for having what all would be left in my life – I’m sad to say but my life would be one big void – compared to today – for too often I take so many of God’s “blessings” in my life for granted. I was also reminded of the old hymn I grew up singing in church – “Count Your Blessings” …..name them one by one then it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. And also, that we should “pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – How easy it would be for us to all “pray without ceasing” if we all learned to pray more often like Eli – “with our eyes open” so that we could see more clearly all that God has truly blessed us with. This morning as I was leaving work I looked up and thanked God for the blue sky he had blessed me with, for the clouds drifting by, the flowers in bloom – that filled the morning air with the sweetest aroma and just for another day he had given me. I’ve heard people say that it would be easier to believe in God if they could just “see” him……I think Eli would tell them to just “open their eyes” for God is all around us – the blue sky, the clouds drifting by, flowers in bloom, a gentle breeze that caresses one’s cheek – Yes God is “real” and He’s all around us – and we can see him each and every day – if we will just “open our eyes”.
God bless you and your family.
Tell Eli I said thanks – I knew my prayer life was missing something and now because of him, I too can “see”.
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