LESSONS OF JUDAISM

 

Answers to Prayer

There is no story or joke to begin this topic.  I simply know that G-d answers my prayers.  I am no one special; I am not a scholar or a tzaddik.  However, the norm is that G-d answers my prayer.  Sometime the answer is immediate and sometimes it takes a while.  Sometimes the answer is what I thought it should be and sometimes I am happy it’s not.  It could be prayer for finding a lost object or a change in circumstances. I know that I don’t get special treatment. A connection exists between G-d and every Jew.  Anyone can ask G-d for what he needs and He will hear that request.

 

There are reasons for unanswered prayers.  Things that can be addressed so the flow of G-d influence can lead to answered prayer.  It is a list of hope.  In the beginning of Shacharit we read “Open wide your mouth, [state all your desires] and I shall grant them.”1

 

You have to ask.  “One of the conditions ordained by the Highest Wisdom was that in order for a person to receive sustenance from G-d, he must ….request his needs.”2

 

Hashem gave man dominion to rule in this world.  “The heavens are the L-rd’s heavens, but the earth He gave to the children of man.”3   G-d’s order of creation is that we must ask Him. A painter cannot enter a home and begin work until the owner solicits his help.

 

Conflicts arise in a relationship when one expects the other to read his mind.  That doesn’t work in a marriage and it does not work in a relationship between man and G-d.  You have to make the action to verbally express it.4

 

If you needed to borrow $10 would you more likely get it from a good friend or from a total stranger?  “He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him.”5   Every Jew has a relationship with G-d whether he recognizes it or not.  However, every day by reciting the Shema we are given the opportunity to reaffirm and deepen that relationship6.  The Amidah provides an opportunity to draw close to G-d and cast our burden upon Him7.

 

When I was laid off from my job I had two and a half months of worry.  While I knew that I would not be unemployed for one day longer than G-d ordained, the uncertainty was difficult.  When the time was right an opportunity opened up with a great company.  Sometimes you have to wait for his timing to work itself out.  Most times He works through the natural order of His creation.  The answer is set in motion but it may take a time for it to manifest itself.  G-d acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him8.

 

A man was waiting on his roof for rescue while the floodwaters rose.  He waved away two boats explaining, “The L-rd will rescue me.”  As the waters began to rise to the top of the roof he waved away a helicopter, “The L-rd will rescue me.”  After drowning he asked G-d why He did not rescue him.  The response, “I sent two boats and a helicopter.”

 

You have to be open to G-d answering the prayer in a different way than what you expect.  “My ways are higher than your ways.”9    There are answers and miracles that go unnoticed each day because we don’t realize what is before us.

 

Sometimes you need to ask someone else to pray for you.  There are many stories of answers to prayer after having the Rebbe pray.  The same holds true with praying at the gravesite of a tzaddik.  Sometimes it takes two souls united to arouse Divine mercy and bring down blessing.

 

A woman prayed faithfully that she would win the lottery. As the weeks went by without her numbers being called she continued to pray.  Finally, she had enough and voiced her complaint to G-d.  He responded, “At least meet me half way a buy a lottery ticket.”  Man has been given the intellect and knowledge to care for himself10.  A person must do that part that he can do.  If I need a job or financial support I must look for a job and do what I can do.  In my own situation the job opportunity came from a source I didn’t know about.  But, I was doing my part, searching where I could and making arrangements to support my family.

 

G-d is not a genie of the lamp; rub the lamp and He has to grant three wishes.  He does care and He does listen.  We will not always understand why things are the way they are.  However, He continuously creates the world anew and it is no difficulty to create the world incorporating an answer to prayer if it is the right thing.

 

1.  Ps. 81: 11

2.  Derech Hashem (The way of G-d), Section 4, Ch. 5:1.

3.  Ps 115:16

4.  Isaiah 55:6, 58:9, 65:24, Ps 91:15

5.  Psalms 145:18-20

6.  Derech Hashem (The way of G-d), Section 4, Ch. 4:1-2

7.  Derech Hashem (The way of G-d), Section 4, Ch. 5:3

8.  Isaiah 64:3

9.  Isaiah 55:8-9

10.Derech Hashem (The way of G-d), Section 4, Ch. 5:2

 

TOPICS

 

Growth

Equilibrium

Find a Good Teacher

Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

Knowledge and Wisdom

Never Give Up

Our Greatest Teacher

Progress

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Truth; Our Most Powerful Tool

Value of Routine

Relationship: To G-d

Dishonoring Torah

Feeling Close to G-d

G-d Wants the Heart

Incomplete Offering

Time Spent

Whole and Willing

 

 

Prayer

Answers to Prayer

G-d Will Answer Your Prayers

Most Effective Prayer Offered

Purpose of Prayer

Why Prayer Services Aren’t More Entertaining

Role of The Jewish People

(Purpose of Creation)

Eternal Life

Everything is Connected

G-d’s Hidden Presence

Key to Success

My Part

Our Actions Change the World

Revealing the Concealed

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body

 

 

Relationship: To Another Jew

Harbor No Enmity

Practicing Forgiveness

Spouses

Who Are your Victims?

The Soul’s Mission

Just Right

Leaving a Mark on the World

Perfect Family

Perspective

Repair Your Part

 

 

Relationship: To Community

Charity Given With Joy

Love Every Jew

Mitzvah of Giving Up

Single Entity

Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

Whole Story

Trust and Faith

Choices

Choosing for a Purpose

Don’t Put G-d in a Box

Faith

Stick With G-d

 

 

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