The Purpose of Prayer

By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
The couple came in to see the great Tzadik – holy spiritual person, to ask for a blessing to have children, and he told them, he was not able to grant them their request. They promised to donate any sum of money he would demand from them to grant this blessing. But he unwaveringly stuck by his word.
They both came out from the great Rabbis room, crying their eyeballs out and said, “We don’t need the Rabbi, we’ll go straight to G-d and pray to Him.”
When the Rabbi heard these words, he called them back in and granted their wish.
In the book of the Midrash tells us, G-d desires our prayers, as it is written, “the work of your hands I yearn for.”  G-d enjoys when it comes from deep down inside of us.
When the Israelites were about to enter the Land of Israel, Moses blessed them. “May G-d, the G-d of your forefathers multiply you a thousand fold, and bless you as he has promised.”
The Israelites approached Moses and complained, that he was placing a limit of one thousand fold to a limitless blessing G-d had already promised, “Like the stars of the heaven.”!
Moses replied. “What I grant you with my blessing is my gift.  G-d however will surely grant you in tremendous greater measure.”
Moses had a plan. By clearly offering something that appeared less than what was already promised, he wanted to arouse within the children of Israel the desire to demand and request that the greater blessing from G-d which was already promised not be eclipsed by this blessing coming from Moses.
Moses wanted the children of Israel to pray and demand what they felt they wanted and needed, directly from G-d.
This answers a very common question. If G-d knows it all, in advance to our needs, and it is something positive and good that we deserve, why must we pray for it to begin with? Why doesn’t G-d just grant it to us on His own?
G-d created this pattern specifically  in such a way that we should receive mainly, only after we have prayed and asked G-d for it, this is “His desire.” Like everything else G-d created this too is for our own good.
Before Moses was about to pass away and as the ultimate leader who cared for every sheep, his plan by blessing them with “one thousand times” was to open their minds and hearts and to whet their appetite. In doing so the Children of Israel remembered the earlier promise G-d gave their forefathers and this pushed them to pray for G-ds promise.
The Talmud derives from a verse in Psalms, “that there are things which stand “at the height of the world,” yet people belittle and demean them. One of the greatest commentators Rashi explains that this refers to prayer which “goes up above to G-d Himself.”
“And you shall serve him with all your heart.” The Talmud says, this verse refers to prayer.
Prayer is a moment in our day that we spend with G-d, creator of the universe. The words of the prayer where designed in such a way that when understood  and felt in our hearts, the person will soar up to the clouds and his bodily existence on this physical world becomes temporarily elevated.
This experience will refine and spiritually strengthen, transform and elevate the person to a higher consciousness throughout the entire day.
The purpose of prayer in not just to come before G-d and ask. The purpose of prayer is to develop our vessel to be more sensitive and receptive to G-dliness all day long. When we realize it’s all G-d, and He is the only source to everything, we have become G-d conscious and our lives take on a new and expanded dimension.
To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com

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