When you pray, do you lift your eyes to heaven, or do you close your eyes?

John 17:20-26 Jesus Prays for All Believers


20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I also pray for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known so that your love for me may be in them and that I may be in them.”

When you pray, do you lift your eyes to heaven, or do you close your eyes?

“Lifting his eyes to heaven Jesus’ praying saying I do not only pray for though these but also those who will believe in me “John 17:1

As Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven, he prayed to his Father. This act of lifting his eyes reveals one unique aspect of the presence of the Father stop. It reveals that the Father is transcendent. Transcendent means that the Father is above all and be on all. The world cannot contain him.

So, in speaking to the Father, Jesus begins by lifting his eyes and acknowledging the Father’s transcendence. But we must also note the imminence of the Father’s relationship with Jesus. The word by imminences means that the Father and Jesus are united as one. Their relationship is profoundly personal. Although the words imminence and transcendence may not be a part of our daily vocabulary, these ideas are worth understanding and reflecting upon. We should strive to be very familiar with their meaning and, more particularly, how our relationship with the Holy Trinity shares in both.

Jesus’ prayers to the Father while sharing in the unity of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. We, too, will share in God’s life and love. For us, this means we start by seeing the transcendence of God. We also lift our eyes to heaven and strive to see by faith God’s splendour, glory, greatness, power, and majesty because God is above all and beyond all.

As we realise this prayerful gaze to the heavens, we must also strive to see this glorious and transcendent God descend into our souls, communicating with us loving us and establishing a profoundly personal relationship. It’s incredible how these two facets of God’s life go together so well even though, at first, they can appear to be complete opposites. However, they are not opposite but, instead, are united together and have the effect of drawing us into an intimate relationship with the Creator, who is ever constant in all things.

Reflect today upon the glorious and all-powerful God of the universe, who descend into the secret depths of your soul – acknowledge his presence, adore him because he lives in you – speak to him and love him through the day.

Prayer


Most glorious Father, please help me always lift my eyes to heaven and turn to you in that prayerful gaze. May I also discover you alive in my soul where you are adored and loved.
In Christ’s name, I pray
Amen

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