be vigilant in prayer27-06-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet
The blog, that I recently wrote under the title, “hands folded, eyes closed” produced various reactions. Some had never realized that this body-attitude, during prayer, is unknown in the Bible. They found it rightfully an eye opener that often times in the Bible, the eyes are lifted up to heaven. But not everyone was happy with the blog. They tasted the suggestion that you should not close your eyes during prayer. Let me now be very clear: I did not mean that at all. The idea of lifting the eyes upward is: you do not look to what is around you, but you focus on what is above. In fact, is not that the underlying idea of closing the eyes? Then too, you do not look at what is around you, but you focus your thoughts (“the eyes of the heart”) on God. When you speak to someone, you do not want to be distracted by the things around you. That would be a sign of disinterest. As in the evangels (Mat.26:41; Luke 21:36), so also in the letters (Col.4:2; 1Pet.4:7), the importance of vigilance in prayer is stressed a number of times. Vigilance is an attitude of alertness; concentration. How easily do everyday concerns not make our thoughts to wander? Tiredness can play a role. Or strong stimuli around you. Or irritability inside you. These are all factors that can diminish attention. Also, do not forget the danger of routine. Especially, habitual prayers, at set times, can easily become automatic (Col.4:2), if we are not vigilant. Anyone for whom prayer is part of the natural rhythm, will recognize that danger. Hence, the recurring call for vigilance. Realize to Whom you are speaking. You are addressing the GOD of heaven and earth! Let us never close our eyes to that.