When I close my eyes in prayer, I search for the face of God, like the face of a loved one who wants me to do my best.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye. (Psalm 32:9)
How do you know what God wants you to do? How do you find his guidance? Probably the same way you follow the signals from your loved ones.
Here’s the scene: I’ll be sitting across the table from my wife, Carol, at a dinner party and I’m about to launch into a story that I think is outrageously funny, but I stop for a minute. Just a glance at her face says everything. Either “No, not here” or “Don’t include me when you tell that story” or “Yes, you can try it.” The people we love look out for us and guide us with their eye.
I can remember when our boys were young and looking up questioningly at me. Their faces said everything: “Daddy, can we? Daddy, can I?” Or even when I was a child and I searched my parents’ eyes. Was I on their wavelength? Was now the right time to ask for something I really wanted—that extra cookie, the TV show I really wanted to see, a trip to the toy store to spend my allowance?
All of this is in one of my favorite Bible verses about prayer, Psalm 32:9 (see above). Does God yell and shout? Does he hit us over the head or twist our arm, giving us misery until we figure out what he’s saying? Not according to this verse. What he’s got to say we can get from looking to his face. The eyes say it all.
So when I close my eyes in prayer, I begin searching for that face, like the face of a loved one who wants me to do my best, who wants to give me the most, who believes in me, who loves me. Look into someone’s eyes and you know what they’re thinking. Look to the eye of God for guidance.
P.S.: As a dad, when my kids were looking at me, I was a pushover.