It’s OK to Pray With Eyes Open

Come on down here with me, baby girl.

I would walk on hot coals for my Grandmother, so getting down on my knees with her at bedside was no problem at all.  She wanted to make sure that, at 6, I knew how to pray.  She had me kneel, clasp my hands, and bow my head.  She was a good Baptist.

Before she could start praying, though, I just had to know: “Why do we have to close our eyes, Grandma?  Doesn’t God want us to see?”

“Hush now, chile,” she said while patting my back.


Grandma was not a good explainer of faith, but she was a great example of it.  She kept our family full of food, love, laughter, and church.  Lots of church.  At the time, I didn’t think I got much out of it.  It was overly crowded, not air-conditioned, too long, and since most of these people’s Sunday’s best was polyester, everyone sweat a lot.  Especially the preacher who delivered his sermons like an athlete — jumping, screaming, and throwing his fist in the air.  I imagined him on a basketball court, or in a boxing ring.

The long hot hours I spent in my childhood Baptist church made me want just three things: (1) for it to be over; (2) peppermint from Grandma’s purse; and (3) a nap.  The only thing I’d get from that list would be the candy, which I later learned should not be opened in other churches because you could hear the paper unwrap.  But in our church, you could not hear an entire roll of aluminum foil unwrap.  Yeah, it was just a little loud.


But thank God for the music, as that was the only thing on those marathon Sundays that reminded me I was surely alive, and had not yet died of boredom.  I tried to create ways to make my little church hand-fan stir more breeze.  I wondered just how long the ushers could stand with their left arm folded behind their back.  I marveled at the white gloves, shiny shoes and carnival hats.  I asked, “God, do You really care about all this stupid stuff?”

I told my Grandma how much I disliked church.  I begged her to pleeeeease let me wait for her in the parking lot where I could learn much more from wildflowers and creepy-crawlers.  Anything but the hot circus.

She agreed, and then smartly brokered a deal.  I could ‘skip’ church in exchange for memorizing a chapter from the Bible — we started with Psalm 23.


It was the perfect beginning.

Erika Harris, Prayables

READ MORE and Enjoy these features from the Daily Prayable!

Daily Story

Daily Scripture

Daily Prayer


Daily Video

Daily Joke

Daily Quote

Previous Posts

Spiritually Healthy
Spiritually Health Get rid of what enslaves you. Find spiritual health and well-being by discovering personal freedom. Don't be defeated by your life circumstances. Here's how to change your life for good. Inspired by Rabbi Karyn Kedar's new ...

posted 6:24:14pm Mar. 27, 2014 | read full post »

You Can Have A Better Marriage
You Can Have a Better Marriage By Susan Diamond, Prayables Some people have a stupendous, fireworks on the Fourth of July marriage. Others have a miserable, cry me a river marriage that really stinks. The rest, fit not-so-neatly in-between. ...

posted 2:08:09pm Mar. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Living Life Outside the Box
Contributed by Susan Good, Visit Gramma Good at I believe in living my life outside the box. I know many women of all ages don’t feel as I do and live inside the box their entire lives. Life inside the box means ...

posted 5:03:30pm Mar. 07, 2014 | read full post »

Is There a Future for Religion?
Written By Susan Diamond, Publisher of Prayables, an online spiritual community for people of all faiths. Is There a Future for Religion? If I hear one more self-righteous matron bitch and moan about the religious morals of young people ...

posted 10:27:07pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Life: 10 Tips & Observations from Gramma Good’s Mother
Contributed by Susan Good Visit Gramma Good at I call my mom at least once a day. Today we talked about buying a scrabble app for her computer. Ninety- two years old and my mother is going to play scrabble on her Mac! ...

posted 11:28:18am Feb. 11, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.