hands folded, eyes closed?14-06-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet
QUESTION: Where is it written in the Bible that, during prayer, we should fold the hands and close our eyes? ANSWER: Nowhere. Folded hands and closed eyes are the attitude of a sluggard who is sleeping (Prov.6:10; 24:33) and never of someone in prayer. As far as something is said about the hands during prayer, they are always raised (1 Tim.2:8). That need not, necessarily, include raised arms. In Psalm 63:4 and 1Kings 8:22, it speaks, in the Hebrew text, about the lifting of the palms of the hands. So with the palms up: open, receiving hands. When Jesus gave thanks before feeding the thousands, He had the loaves of bread in His hands (Mat.14:19). In this verse, we also read that Jesus looked up to heaven, as He thanked God (see also: Mark.6:41; Luke 9:16). This is the opposite of looking down and closing the eyes, as children in Christian circles are taught to do. Also, Psalm 121:1 speaks of lifting the eyes – because from there comes our help. A wonderful attitude! This also overrides the objection of being distracted by things around you. Whoever gives thanks to God, looks at Him. For the record: a bodily posture for prayer is nowhere prescribed and it would be pure legalism to make rules for it. It is obvious that the all important thing is the attitude of the heart. But to be honest: the motto of “hands folded and eyes closed” is quite far from the examples that we find in the Bible.