I remember when I wondered for the first time whether it was best to pray with eyes shut or open. I was only a child then, but I have often revisited the same thought. My memories on the matter were revived after stumbling onto this post: Eyes Wide Shut Prayer?
Like the rest of my family, I have always been an “apophatic prayer”–someone who closes their eyes, bows their head, and folds their hands when praying. At an early age, I realized that not all people pray the way my family and I do. Since then, I have always wondered which way of praying was actually right. However, over the years, I was brought to the realization that it isn’t really important whether people chose to pray with their eyes shut or wide open.
How one prays is a personal thing. Prayer is our way of talking to God, and it should not be in any way stiff and stringent. Instead, we should pray in a way that we feel would best draw us near to Him. I feel comfortable and more connected to God praying with my eyes closed, but in no way will I insist that you must follow my way of praying. I believe that it is important that each of us pray as we see fit.
Certainly, God does not concern Himself with the manner with which we pray–kneeling, standing, lying down, eyes open, or eyes shut–but looks at what is inside our thoughts and hearts.