Lifting Our Eyes in Prayer

How can we draw near to God without being distracted by everyday things?

Oftentimes our experience of prayer is less than we want it to be. Whether it’s in a group or quietly on our own, we want our prayers to be overflowing expressions of love, joy, and awe in the presence of God. But somehow our minds seem to take a detour away from prayer and onto other things, almost anything! Very quickly the attention we were giving to prayer is gone entirely.

So how can we draw near to God and have Him draw near to us without being distracted by everyday things? Psalm 123 is one of many places in Scripture which helps us to retune our attention away from the things that distract us and back towards God.

Psalm 123 is one of the “Psalms of Ascent” recited by Israelites as they approached Jerusalem to celebrate yearly festivals at the temple. Like many of the Psalms of Ascent, Psalm 123 helped them to turn their hearts towards God.

“I lift my eyes to you” First, the Psalmist lifts his eyes. When we come to God in prayer we may find it helpful to lift our eyes too. Not our physical eyes, but rather the eyes of our heart, to turn our gaze away from the things that try to pull our attention away from prayer.

But turn our eyes where?

“to you who sit enthroned in heaven”

When we pray we should fix our eyes on God, who is seated on His throne in heaven. By focusing our thoughts and attention on God first in prayer, we are recognising that He is the giver of all things.

As you begin to pray for the people in this Prayer Diary, take time to first turn your gaze to God and recognise Him as the king over our ministries, our outreach programs, our resources and over every conversation that an evangelist has with someone about Jesus for the first time.