I have realized that I have a problem that when I go to shul, I tend to zone out through most of the service. Even when I'm in silent prayer during the Amidah. It bothers me that I can't stay focused in shul. I decided to look back at this entry from MySpace in 2007, regarding my thoughts on prayer.
This topic also came to light when my boss from NJ recently said that if you really want something, you just have to pray for it and Hashem will listen. The philosophy seemed to work for her, so she wanted to share it with me.
Monday, June 25, 2007
We've got to pray just to make it today
Current mood: thankful
Category: Religion and Philosophy
I've been thinking a lot about the power of prayer recently. The subject line is from an M.C. Hammer song that I used to sing with one of the kids I babysat for. I'd say "Why do we pray?" and he'd say "To make it today!" He had to be only a little older than Eitan at the time, but it was too cute! In any case, I feel that way about prayer now.
When I was younger, my (late) maternal grandma told me to say the Sh'ma every night before going to bed. I did that for a while and then fell out of the habit in college. After I met my husband, we started saying the Sh'ma together every night and now we have added the V'ahavta. We also do both prayers with Eitan. After I say both during my own time, I add personal prayers. I pray for myself, my family, my friends, and anyone else who needs a prayer said for them. I believe strongly that prayer works, no matter what religion you are. I've seen what the power of prayer is doing for baby Kaleb in Tampa. It's truly amazing...people of all different religions and beliefs coming together in prayer for one child. I've been praying for him ever since I got the bulletin about his situation.
After 9/11/01, it was easy for people to lose faith. However, I went to Israel a few months later and put a note in the Western Wall. It was mainly for myself...a bargain that if I gave up my "wild ways", I would either get into a really good relationship or would make it into the Comedy Sportz troupe. Needless to say, I got the former of the two options and I can't complain. :) I met my husband less than a month after putting that note into the wall. Not only that, but he helped me get more involved with Judaism, which is what I wanted to do.
I've been praying every day since then. I could pray for the same thing for months or maybe just once and that's it. It depends on the situation.
Today, I went on an interview for a job I really want and feel I could turn into a career. I won't know more until next Monday, but I'll be praying every day to receive this opportunity. If you pray, please pray for me about this, as well. I know it might sound trite compared to what some people need prayers about, but it's important to me. If anyone needs me to pray for something on their end, I'd be glad to do so.
In the long run, whenever I pray, I trust in Hashem to do what is in his will. On Shabbos and Yom Tov, I've been told not to ask for anything when I pray. That is when I just say my thanks for prayers being answered, even in the smallest sense. I also do this every night, even when I am asking for things. It's spiritually comforting and I am glad I pray.
That's all I have to say on this topic for now.
Follow up: I didn't get the job I posted about, but Hashem did bless me with a baby around the time I wrote this. I wanted one and prayed a lot that it would happen. I just didn't know I was pregnant for sure at the time I was writing the entry and couldn't share for 3 months anyway. Also, I have a friend who is a Messianic Jew. Even though we don't agree about all things religious, we can still connect about our belief that prayer is important and that we feel our prayers will be answered. She once wrote me a letter just to say that one of her prayers was answered and it was so nice to read about that. I've been telling her every time I pray for something and it gets answered. It's just comforting to know that I don't have to necessarily pray in shul in order to be heard.
Side note: Baby Kaleb is a little boy who was shaken by his babysitter at about 9 months of age. There was a poor outlook for him after that, but he made a miraculous recovery and is still alive today. He will probably always need special care, but he's better off than he could have been. I believe a lot of his recovery had to do with prayer. I now think it's important to pray for his family that the babysitter will be convicted when she finally goes to trial. That's another long road and the family can't even blog right now for fear of it throwing off the trial even more.