Have you ever wondered why all of us, Hindus, Muslims and Christians close our eyes and pray to God? This is not something that has been explicitly listed out in our sacred books, but nevertheless, it has become a norm for devotees around the world. A lot of people do not believe in this method and make use of unconventional methods like singing, dancing, looking into the deity's eyes and praying. Sometimes even looking skyward! Prayer is something that is personal to everyone and people should pray in a manner they feel comfortable in. There is no rule book or guideline to pray but, closing ones eyes and praying seems to be the most popular method adapted by millions.
Lets look at some advantages of following the age old method of closing your eyes and praying.
Makes you feel at one with God – Closing your eyes shuts out the world and gives you a more personal connection with your God. This makes you feel at peace.
Respect – Just like it is considered rude to stare at people, many people consider it disrespectful to keep your eyes open during a prayer ceremony. They close their eyes in order to pay respect to their God, with a feeling of humility and reverence.
Closes out distractions – Once your eyes are shut, visual distractions come to an end and you can connect with God in a better way.
Visualization – This method is used by many people all over the world. By imagining the form of their God and focusing on that image, devotees feel they pray more effectively. This helps people feel closer to Him and instills a feeling of security and closeness.
Stress Relieving – Believe it or not, closing your eyes for a few minutes in prayer everyday is actually a form of meditation that relieves stress.
Peaceful sleep – Closing your eyes for bedtime prayers actually puts your mind at ease and helps you drift off to sleep peacefully with positive vibes. Praying before bed, with your eyes closed should be made into a routine and you will notice a definite improvement in your sleeping pattern.
Self Realisation – By closing your eyes, you can look deep within yourself and understand what you truly want. Once you have that clarity about the purpose of your life, you are able to pray to God with a clear mind.
We all remember being repeatedly asked to close our eyes while there was a prayer in progress. So much so, that the term “Close your eyes in prayer” has become a popular phrase in most schools and colleges all across the globe. In retrospect, what our teachers and parents said in this regard actually makes a valid point!