I have to warn you, the following content is not for you if you consider yourself one of those, so called “tough guys” who thinks: I am always right and successful in everything, nothing is going to break me; Even if a war-tank runs over me, I will stand up again, I know everything and I don’t want to change…
You might even admire this strong fellow. If you do, think again, my dear friend. Your heart might be hardened by pride and lack of spirituality. Your eyes might be blinded by self-righteousness.
My content is for the vulnerable people! Vulnerability, you ask?- but, it’s a weakness!
Really??? Think again.
It takes a lot of strength and courage to recognize your vulnerability, that you might not know everything and you depend on something greater than you. Realizing that you might not be able to control anything at all, rather everything is directed by your Creator!
But wait, we have prayer!
When we are facing distress or there is a crisis in our lives, we usually turn to prayer, crying out to God for help. Many times though, seems like He is not listening…
Is it possible that we are doing something wrong?…
So what is prayer after all? and what should we do for our prayers to be heard?
By definition, prayer is speaking to God.
Without recognizing and feeling this intent, it is not prayer, rather occupying yourself. There is no difference between you and a small child or an animal, for that matter. You should realize by now, Prayer is what separates us from the animal kingdom!
The right way to pray
- First and foremost, you must prepare for prayer with considering of TO WHOM you are about to pray. Imagine you would attend a Royal audience (or meeting the President, so to say): you’ll need to prepare yourself with your best outfit, focusing on this specific event only… Be clean and smelling nice… Same way with prayer, we should empty our hearts from any other (worldly) thoughts that will distract us. Even after cleansing his body and mind from dirt and thoughts, it is still not prayer until one has no right understanding before Whom he is praying. And that, my dear friend is the most difficult matter in prayer. You are standing before: your Maker, the Creator of the whole Universe, the One and only God in heaven above and on the earth below- negotiating your welfare, yet your eyes do not see Him.
- Connecting to God. I believe that the modern-day high-technology was invented only to help us understand the many spiritual things that were hidden for earlier generations. At the time, people were relying only on their five senses and it was very difficult to speak to someone without forming a true image. Today, the invention of telephone will teach us that is possible to speak with another even though one does not see who it is. So, today we are able to understand that God can listen and hear our prayers even though we cannot see Him.
- Uttering the right words before our Creator. Consider the same example as before: speaking in front of a mortal royal calls for eloquent words, right? How much more so if you remember in front of Whom you stand: the King of kings, The awesome God, The Master of All, who created this whole magnificent universe with everything in it… not to mention our so perfect body… Consider His wisdom, His infinity and how many personal favors He did for you until now… That’s why you would need to find the most refined language to speak to the Sovereign of the Universe. But not only that…
- Intention in thoughts. You can have the most wonderful praising words, if you have no intent, your prayer is meaningless. The words one is forming with the lips only is like the shell (of an orange, for example ) and the meditation on the words is like the fruit itself… If compared to a man, prayer is the ‘life spirit’, the primary thing, while the words are just the physical body. When we pray with our mind distracted in a thousand places, our prayer will be like a body without a soul, just a corpse…. or like a shell without a fruit. As you know, through words it is easier to focus on intent and arouse the heart- which is our primary purpose. As the prophet said: “For as much as this people draw near with their mouth and with their lips to honor Me, yet their hearts are far from Me- their fear of Me is like rote learning of human commands.” ( Is. 29:13 ).
As long as our heart and mind are devoid of the matter of prayer, God will not accept the prayer of the tongue only, because the essence of the person itself is not there. You cry during prayer… that’s the first sign you are on the right path.
- Conviction in its (prayer’s) power. Now, that is up yo you, my friend. At first, your ego will flood your mind with doubt and uncertainty. But this battle is yours to deal with. In my opinion, winning this battle is how you find God which is the ultimate purpose of life. Exercise your free will and resist those doubts! You, the created being trust your Creator!
Essence of Prayer
My dear friend, you should know that by prayer our soul is longing to God. Prayer accompanies us throughout life providing a pathway to God. I’d dare to say, it is our soul’s love affair with God.
Usually it has three parts:
- Praise of God
- Submitting ourselves by casting our needs on Him
The Divine medicine
Casting our needs on Him… this is a great foundation in prayer…. but calling it Divine Medicine?… let me explain.
Let say, somebody’s prayer is answered. Do you think he had the power to convince God change His decrees regarding him?
Does anybody has the power to alter His decree? I doubt it. My God is The King of Justice! But, “Who is willing to go before G-d and face His Judgment unless it is tempered by His Divine Mercy?”
The power of prayer is not that you negotiate and have a better deal with God…
Rather, the power of prayer is in that by praying You, my dear friend, YOU are going to be changed! You pray to be saved from some trouble or to be healed from a sickness; it is not as if you are trying to change God’s mind through this… Rather, it is you who is changed! For behold, you are already a different person, not the same one on whom the sickness or trouble was decreed upon. You are changing yourself through the prayer and thus incidentally the trouble will be removed.
I became ill and oh, how I prayed to God… Do you think He regretted and reconsidered His will toward me?
The explanation is that as long as by prayer I submit myself before the Master of all, recognizing His authority and drawing closer to Him through prayer; and trust that only God has the power to save and He alone is the healer of all flesh I became a different person, not the same one upon who the decree of illness was decreed, therefore the decree is no longer needed… By acknowledging His authority, that He is our God, and there is none else besides Him!- I became like a new being, similar to a newborn baby, born to enjoy a Godly life.
As it is said in the Scripture: ”I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. Behold I will heal you! ”
Just analyze the case of Nineveh. God warned the city because the people were idolatrous and wicked.
So, Jonah preached to Nineveh and warned them to repent before the city is destroyed in 40 days.
They prayed and repented, turned from wickedness and God’s judgement did not find them anymore… as they were a different people now.
This teaches us that no matter our past behavior, God’s benevolence and mercy awaits us if we only repent full-heartedly.
You too, my dear friend, if you pray sincerely, search for Him truthfully and turn from your worldly path by resisting your egocentric urges; slowly but surely you will become a different person… And look, a miracle just happened: You are healed!
God performed a miracle, had mercy on you.
Rather, I should say, YOU my dear friend, YOU did it!!!
Isn’t this miraculous? Prayer and repentance is the shield between you and the punishment you deserve. As long as your intention is sincere, you are humble and walk in righteousness before your Creator, the decree that caused the crisis in your life will be annulled, because you changed yourself. You are not the arrogant and cold, full of pride person anymore. You recognized the authority of The Holy One Blessed Be He!
The prayer changed your heart! and your fate!
In fact, you just healed your SOUL! Everybody knows, both the body and the soul need management and health.
Without a doubt, we need to heal our souls too. But, the proper way is to strengthen your eternal soul first.
As I experienced myself, a rectified soul will sustain the weakened body easier. It is easier to heal your body from the worst of diseases than it is to heal the soul from the sickness of the evil inclination. As the wise man said: ” The spirit of man will sustain him in sickness, but who can support a broken spirit?” (Prov.18:14)
Meaning, if the soul is well ( connected with his Creator) it can support a sick body but if the soul is sick (disconnected, without fear of God) it can bear nothing.
That is why, my recommendation is: focus special attention on your soul and worry on its needs first and foremost! of course without neglecting the body.
My recipe: give your body the food it needs to maintain its proper functioning ( to stay alive) and give your soul of the wisdom and morals
more than its ability to take. Soul is spiritual and needs spiritual food which is endless… That’s why you can reach unimaginable heights through prayer.
We need to acknowledge that we alone are responsible for getting our prayers answered.
Prayer is like a trust fund; or a deposit God entrusted us with. It is in our hands what we do with it. But, it is solely between you and Him because nobody can see prayer, except God. Prayer is unique in that nobody can testify if is real or not. It is your private matter with Him… an umbilical cord with our Maker, so to say.
Whoever needs salvation or healing, study wisdom from the prophets and the great psalmist-king David, and pray with heart, humility and submission before God. Through this, man has the power to change himself! and change his fate!
Prayer repairs broken lines and establishes a clear connection with our Creator. And, in no time a hopeless situation is transformed by a miracle…
Remember: Any miracle in the physical world must be preceded by a miraculous change in our own character!
Thus, in reality, it’s us! We DO and engineer miracles through sincere PRAYER.
Dear friend, try it for yourself, go ahead do your own miracle, so to say! Have the courage to genuinely restore your connection with God!
Keep in mind: we can pray in any language and ask for anything, as long as we have conviction and the right intention of heart. The Almighty hears our prayers even they are inaudible to the human ear. When staying in awe and reverence before Him calls for silent prayer… Otherwise, you should recite them aloud because the thoughts of the mind go after and follow the words you utter. Recite psalm 51 and 145, three times per day, and your heart will be changed!
God will accept your prayer only if you pray like He commanded us to do it.
By not betraying the trust God placed on us you will have fulfilled your duty of faithfulness and your prayer will be like incense before Him. He will listen and accept your prayers!
The beginning is the root of every act, therefore a wise man said:
“ The beginning is half of the whole”.
Therefore, my dear friends lets begin with our first prayer, said upon rising,
called MODEH ANI:
I give thanks to You, Everlasting King, who has
compassionately restored my soul within me;
Great is Your faithfulness!
Dear friend, May God listen and accept all your prayers!
Now go ahead. Change yourself and a miracle will happen today!