Why must you close your eyes when you pray?

To pray, is to converse with God, and when I speak to God I can do so even with open eyes. I can pray any time and everywhere and speak to God. I can speak to him in my house, at work, yes, even when I am driving on the road in my car. That is why I can pray with open eyes.

 But people usually close their eyes when they pray, because they respect God and honour him. Others again, feel that when they close their eyes they don't see anything and therefore they can concentrate better on prayer, on their conversation with God. But please remember that faith is necessary when we pray. If I go to God in prayer, I must believe that he exists and that he listens (Hebrews 11:6).

 People who pray with open eyes may be distracted by other things, and lose their concentration that is focussed on God when they pray. Even if we pray with the help of a Prayer book we must do so with undivided attention. We must remember that we speak with God through those prayers.

 Some people want to know whether they have to kneel when they pray. It is a token of deep respect to God when you are on your knees before him and it is the best way to pray when you are alone. Christ prayed like that in Gethsemane. But when he prayed for his disciples he simply lifted up his eyes (John 17:1). But please remember that there is no law that you must pray on your knees - some people pray on their sick beds, others in wheel chairs, elderly people who cannot kneel sit and pray. You can talk to God even if you stand (see Luke 18:10-14). Note that the Pharisee prayed wrongly, not because he stood in the temple, but because he praised himself in his prayer.