Let us pray


“Let us pray.”

Those immortal words. Hands together. Head bowed. Eyes closed. Thank you.

Somehow this way of praying to attention gets God’s attention better. Otherwise why would we all do it (even though God is everywhere in everything … inside us … indwelling)?

So why do we need to shut our eyes, bow our heads and clasp our hands simply to get His attention? Or is it us? Do we need to get our own attention. And if so – why? Aren’t we the ones “praying to Him” in the first place?

I have never got the prayer ritual. It’s all a bit odd to my simple mind. So I pray with my eyes open. My head up. My hands unclasped.

And you notice things when everyone has their eyes shut and you don’t. But no gossip column this morning. Maybe another time.

Anyway …

The reason I mention praying is that I was on the Jesus Bus last night. We do “let us pray” before we open the doors, and after we shut the doors.

And after we shut the doors we go upstairs on the bus. Have a debrief. Then do the let us pray. And that is the moment that blows me away each time.

Because the floor of the bus is just a normal floor. You walk on it. Stuff gets spilled on it. We sweep it clean. We mop it up sometimes. Yet when we do let us pray – I keep noticing little silver flecks in the floor. They are everywhere. They are all over the floor. Part of the “material and structure” of the bus. I guess there is a good reason for little silver flecks.

So when we do let us pray – I keep seeing these little silver flecks. And they are God Soft Hands Jesus. Everywhere. Shining and sparkling. It is beautiful!

There we are with eyes shut, hands clasped, heads bowed praying to God. And God Soft Hands Jesus is embedded in the very fabric of the bus. Glinting, sparkling, shining all around! He is the fabric of the bus! Every molecule. Everywhere in everything.

As one of the drivers of a very rickety old bus I often “pray Jesus into the bus” as I prepare to drive. Grip a piece of the bus tight and “will Him into” the fabric of the bus. Pray each element, every nut and bolt is infused with Him. I still do. It is a me and Him thing.

Because haven’t we all been trained from an early age how to pray? How to make it work. How to get His attention. When we call up to Him (or call Him down) like some well trained monkey. When we chant the words. And plop pennies in a wishing well (with eyes tight shut and fingers crossed). Hope like hell He is listening. Hope like hell we are getting through.

Yet I wonder about this praying ritual as I see Him sparkling and winking back at me. Those gorgeous God flecks shining all around.

Why do we shut our eyes and shut Him out? Why do we go inside ourselves? Whose attention are we getting – and why do we need to even try? If Love is looking out not in – why do we pray with our eyes shut? Why is “more” needed? Why is 5000 of us praying going to make that wish come true any better than 1? Why is 24/7 praying going to keep His attention (or piss Him off?) to the point where he says “Okay then – I will do that for you.”

There is a lot about prayer I find very odd.

Like why do we do all the talking? With our eyes tight shut, and our heads bowed, and our hands clasped. Never noticing Him all around all ready. Winking back at us and looking gawjus!

“Let us pray”

(sorry – I have to shut my eyes now)

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29 thoughts on “Let us pray

  1. I love this so much! I pray with eyes looking at the clouds 😀 I’m just loving WordPress today. Yours is yet another incredible read. Thank you Paul, and God bless your ‘today’, xx

    • Thank you! I have seen your two reblogs and then your comment here. “I’m just loving WP today” – and you have just made we appreciate this space even more this morning! The sharing, the connections, the joy and fun and love! Thank you!!

      God bless your day even more than He is already – even more than you are sharing of Him already! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Good read Paul. We should inspire everyone to pray everyday. Prayer is a constant flow back and forth between us and God and sometimes amongst a group and God. Prayer is a way of life. No right no wrong, eyes closed no eyes closed. It’s whether your heart is open that matters. That’s where God is looking anyway 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Work for the cause not the applause and commented:
    Paul totally inspired me today. I’m going to start putting this in place with my husband. Prayer is a conversation. I’m keeping my eyes open tonight and inviting God into the conversation with my husband to pray for our children. Thanks Paul!!!

  4. I love this post, Paul! I’ve never thought much of the little rituals that we often associate with prayer; they strike me somehow, and probably unfairly, as disingenuous.

    HOWEVER… I, who pretty much have never closed my eyes to pray, gained a new appreciation for that practice some years ago. It was a Sunday morning thing, everyone was standing, heads mostly bowed while the preacher was “praying us out” after a sermon.. my head was bowed and my eyes were open when I realized that as my brother was earnestly praying, I was taking rather too much notice of the shapely bum of the young lady directly in front of me, and the thought popped into my head that maybe people close their eyes to shut out distractions… With a sheepish “sorry lord” I closed my eyes and tuned into the prayer….

  5. Another Classic Paul on a very important subject. I agree eyes open or closed don’t matter, nor posture, nor timing. We do have examples both ways in the Bible. What matters is really praying from the heart with faith. Have a great day, man!!!

  6. Hello Paul.
    Hmm prayer with eyes closed or open……. If theyre closed u might miss something. Like one of your kids coming in passed curfew and sneaking past ur room. But u may be able to concentrate better on The Lord.
    If theyre open you may indeed catch the person avoiding being grounded but become less focused on Him.

    Decisions, decisions……..😉

    Bless you friend. 🌻

    • “Decisions, decisions……..😉”
      Katie B – thank you for the chuckle! And your write good on your blog! I miss being able to add a word or two as your words move me!! Better that than now words at all from you!!

      🙂

  7. With all my heart and soul, hoping that his will be done. In any position, anywhere anytime. Excpessialy if there is a cute booty! staring back. Practice turning head. 😲 Your right on target Paul. Pray, pray, pray.

    Much love Tom

    • Tom, pray pray pray seems right to me. Sometimes its conversation, sometimes its listening – but always relationship. Just have a thing about how I sit or stand being “how I should do it”.

      ((hug))

  8. At times during closed eyed prayers, I have peeked at those around me. I especially love seeing children who can’t help but peek at everyone’s closed, bowed heads. It’s almost like they are waiting for something to happen. Isn’t that how we should be praying, though? With eyes wide open ready to see Him? Love your thoughts this morning 🙂

    • Julie – thank you.
      There have been some lovely comments here today – and yours no less. The children also make me chuckle as they take full advantage of not being watched!!
      The sparkles on the bus … always gives me a “ooooh!” moment!!

      🙂

  9. Loved this, Paul! We’re also taught to say “amen” at the end of all our prayers, but I hardly do. People use “amen” like a closing of a letter to end the conversation, but I see prayer as a constant communication between me and the Father. I say “amen” sometimes, but the meaning of the words get lost in my head most of the time. Amen literally means, “so be it”, and so my prayers are filled more with “so be Your will”. I do have to close my eyes sometimes because I have a bit of ADD…haha. I am so easily distracted I forget what I’m saying to Him cuz I’m staring at something and my mind gets sidetracked. I do like praying with my eyes wide open cuz while talking He’ll speak to me through something I see.

    • Thank you. Reading through the comments has been fun. And yes – always the amen (just like always the bless you). And yes – I also close my eyes from time to time – just not to order 🙂

      “I do like praying with my eyes wide open cuz while talking He’ll speak to me through something I see.”
      Oh yes! The floor of the bus would have passed me by – and yet I LOVE that floor! I LOVE Him in the floor and the sparkles! And eyes shut? Nada!! At least not in that context.

      “I see prayer as a constant communication”
      Oh yes! And I love the silences as much as the talking!!
      Thank you thank you thank you!! 🙂

  10. Oh, Paul! I absolutely love this. I pray all day long–sometimes without even knowing I am doing it till I am well into the conversation with God. He is with me always, not only with head bowed and hands folded….for this I am so thankful. This was wonderful, as always!!!!!!

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