Prayer Essentials

For the week ending 12 November 2016 / 11 Heshvan 5777

Like Talking to a Friend

by Rabbi Yitzchak Botton
The Color of Heaven Artscroll

“For what great nation has God close to it, as the Lord our God whenever we call to Him” (Deut. 4:7)

One of mankind's oldest mistakes, one that still plagues us even today, is the mistaken belief that G-d is far too exalted to bother with this lowly world. They claim, “True, G-d created us; however, after doing so He left us under the control of stars, planets and constellations.”

This is of course completely wrong. Although G-d appears as if He were far beyond our reach, residing beyond this world and beyond all galaxies, beyond the abode of even the angels, in the highest Heavenly realm lies G-d’s Throne of Glory. How far away G-d seems from us! Yet, in truth, there is none so close to us.

How close? Prayer connects us to G-d. Even when we feel distant, He is there listening. Through prayer we enter into G-d’s private chamber. There we convey — directly to G-d — our thoughts, needs, fears and hopes. Each of us, even young children, when praying the Shemoneh Esrei prays in a mere whisper — and G-d listens. Through our daily prayers we testify that G-d not only exists, but that He also watches, listens, and responds to our spoken word.

So why does G-d bother to listen to our prayers and requests?

Because He genuinely cares for each of us in a perfect way. He wants to be involved in the details of our lives. This is the essence of prayer: to recognize G-d through the faculty of one’s intellect and beseech His goodness. In this way a person not only succeeds in welcoming G-d into his personal life, but also raises his own endeavors aspiring to live a life worthy of G-d’s involvement.

In connection to the above, Ramchal explains that one should strive to see himself as if he were literally standing before G-d, exchanging words with Him as with a friend. When one truly senses that G-d is “right there” with him, listening to the words that emanate from his heart, he makes G-d a real part of his life. When you pray today, don't forget to add some of your own words from the heart. G-d is waiting to hear what you have to say.

© 1995-2017 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at ohr@ohr.edu and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to Prayer Essentials

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.