"Praying with eyes wide open is not just about the reality that we can pray at all times. It also deepens our prayer and connects us with God and with other people on a level we might have never experienced before."
-Praying With Eyes Wide Open by Sherry Harney
I had the opportunity to serve with Sherry Harney at Shoreline Community Church in Monterey, CA in 2012-2013. Reading this book is like hearing her speak--she speaks with purpose and no word is wasted. She is one of the most discerning and powerful prayer warriors that I know. Each phrase is drenched with the Holy Spirit as she brings a fresh perspective to connecting with God. So go ahead, try it: pray with your eyes wide open.
I will be giving readers an opportunity to win a free copy of her book and will give more information at the end of this post.
When I think about my first experience praying with eyes wide open, I am thrown back into my Junior year of college. I had been selected as a Resident Advisor for Adams Hall, the all-girls, freshman dorm at Azusa Pacific University, for the 2010-2011 school year. Part of our training included Walkabout--a 13-day backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevadas. I don't know who had the idea to take hundreds of college students, with zero camping experience, into the mountains for over a week, but I'm glad they did. I still couldn't tell you exactly where we were. As far as I knew, we were completely lost.
During that trek, we had a 2-day solo experience. Our group of 10 students and three leaders spread out around a beautiful lake. We couldn't see each other, hear each other, or talk to each other. As darkness filed the night sky, so did the sharp cries of nearby wolves. Maybe they were coyotes, but I had heard that the only way to tell coyotes and wolves apart was by looking them in the face, and I wasn't quite interested in that kind of Walkabout experience. I have never in my life prayed so intensely, and I can guarantee that I was praying with eyes wide open.
As the sun rose over the mountains, its light cascaded down the hills, reflected off the smooth surface of the water, and fell gently across the grass surrounding me. Somehow I hadn't noticed the light move like this before. As I spoke with my Heavenly Father, I felt that I should close my eyes, but I couldn't... I didn't want to miss a single moment of the beauty of His creation. As I prayed with eyes wide open, my gaze returned to the grass and rested on the small, yellow flowers. "Daughter, I made these ones just for you."
You might find yourself keeping your eyes wide open for different reasons. Maybe you just received bad news from your doctor, are grieving loss, or are unsure of what the future holds. Maybe you are celebrating good news, a new baby, or a new opportunity. Whether you feel like you are surrounded by wolves or flowers, Praying With Eyes Wide Open will radically change the way you meet with God. I am thankful that we have a God who meets us in both the profound and the little moments. And I am thankful for Sherry Harney's book that has reminded me to pray limitless, continual, powerful, honest, eyes wide open kinds of prayers.
I pray that YOU too would pray with eyes wide open and that your life would be forever changed.
If you are interested in entering the drawing for Sherry Harney's Praying With Eyes Wide Open, sign up for my email list here and comment below with something you are praying for. I would love to pray for you by name! Remember, if you are praying for someone else over a sensitive topic, please do not share their name. Also, if you invite a friend and he/she mentions you, you will get an extra two entries PER PERSON. I will do the drawing on April 5th.