Prayer can take on multiple forms. In the life and teachings of our Holy Rabbi, Maran Yeshua Melech HaMashiach we find diverse examples. He spoke of a man who found forgiveness while praying standing in the temple. His students prayed communally in “the upper room.” Melech HaMashiach himself never passed up an opportunity to pronounce a ritual public blessing before eating or drinking. However, our Rabbi Yeshua’s unequaled emphasis on prayer is the teaching of hitbodadut (Hebrew:התבודדות, lit. “self-seclusion”). Alone in the hills and in hidden places Mashiach prayed most often.
According to Rebbe Nachman of Breslau this is the only way to build a personal relationship with God. Yeshua demands sincerity from his followers; his way in prayer is an intimate conversation with a Father who knows the needs of his children.
“And when you pray, you will not be like the hypocrites; they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, so they can be seen by the world. In truth I tell you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, don’t use vain repetitions like the nations do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. Don’t be like them; for your Father knows the things you need of, before you ask him.”
When teaching people throughout Israel, gave us a model of how to pray. He lived it out by often retreating from the crowds to be alone with the Father, and then praying so intensely.
"It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, Mori (teacher), teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’" He said to them, "Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,’ and he from within will answer and say, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you’? I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs. "I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he asks for an egg, he won’t give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Luke 11
1. We pray because we love God. We spend time with God in prayer and communion because we love him. Just as a man and woman in love desire to be together and communicate, so we – if we love God – will desire to be with Him and to fellowship with Him in proportion to our love for Him.
2. We pray because we depend on God. God is our source. He is our life. Through prayer we receive the comfort, the strength and all the other resources that we need in life – both naturally and spiritually. Prayer – relationship to God – is as necessary to the spiritual life as air to the natural life.
3. We need to pray in order to resist temptation. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Mt. 26:41). Much sin is the result of lack of prayer.
4. We need to pray because God commands us to pray. “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2). “Then he [Yeshua] spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1). The need to pray is as great as the authority of God which commands us: “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is so vital to all that God wants to do on the earth, and so essential to us, that God commands us to do it all the time.
6. We pray because Maran Yeshua, our model, prayed constantly Yeshua was always in perfect communion with the Father. He always knew what the Father wanted, what the Father was saying and what the Father was doing. Yeshua also took time to pray alone at night, in the morning before others were up (Mark 1:35), in times of crisis and temptation (Matthew 26:36, 39, 42). If the Messiah of God needed to pray, how much more we need it if we are going to be like Him.
- Inquire of the Lord (not Yeshua, but God) and run to him, and then let the issue go.
- Go to God about even more decisions – smaller decisions – because He’s in the details of everything.
- Ask God because He’s always with us and working through us – be mindful of Him.
Suffice it to say, let’s pray like we mean it!
Tags: 1492, breslau, followers, forgiveness, hamashiach, Hebrew, Hitbodadut, hypocrites, intimate conversation, Jewish Prayer, Mashiach, Moshiach, personal relationship, prayer, rabbi, rebbe nachman, relationship with god, seclusion, sincerity, synagogues, truth, upper room, vain repetitions
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