Positions of Prayer – Part 6, Looking To Heaven

Positions of Prayer – Part 6

 Looking To Heaven

By Pastor Bill

Many times I have heard pastors tell everyone to bow their heads, close their eyes and pray. It was only after our ministry teams had been to a Vineyard Ministry Training Conference in 1986 that I was taught to keep your eyes open while you pray. John Wimber said that we should be watching to see how the Lord is moving in a person while we are praying. Scripture does not say a lot about praying with your eyes open or closed. There are a few passages that deal with looking toward heaven while we are praying.

In Ezra 9:5-7, Ezra was feeling humiliated, embarrassed, and ashamed because of the conviction of the sins of the fathers. He fell on his knees, stretched out his hands, and told the Lord that he was too embarrassed to lift up his face to God. We learn from this passage that people who are filled with shame cannot look towards God. This is how Ezra felt. In Christ, our sins have been forgiven and our shame has been removed. We can come boldly into His throne because of the blood of Jesus. We should have the freedom to lift up our faces to God when we pray.

(Ezra 9:5-7)  “But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the LORD my God; {6} and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to Thee, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads, and our guilt has grown even to the heavens. {7} “Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day.”

When Stephen was being stoned, he lifted his eyes towards heaven. Luke records that Stephen said he saw the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. He had a vision. Stephen was unashamed of the gospel and of His Lord. He could gaze intently into heaven, and he did.

(Acts 7:55-56)  “But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; {56} and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.””

When Jesus fed the five thousand, He took the five loaves and two fish and looked up toward heaven, and blessed the food. Jesus was in right standing with His Father and could look unashamedly towards heaven and pray.

(Mark 6:41)  “And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all.”

May-4-Matthew-3_1-2-the-Kingdom-of-Heaven-is-Near1“Father, we want to be a people who are unashamed and can boldly look to You while we pray. Remove all shame from us. Remove all condemnation. Make us stand in the presence of Your glory, blameless with great joy. Help us to be a people who lift their eyes to the heavens from whence their help comes. Help us to be a people who have their eyes fixed on the Author and Perfecter of their faith. Amen. (See Jude 1:24, Psalms 121, and Hebrews 12:2.)

 

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