16 Elul and Prayer

BlogElul 2015

Prayer. It’s an interesting concept.

Are we talking to God when we pray? Is it like picking up the telephone? “Are you there, God? It’s me, Shocheradam” (hat tip to Judy Blume)? And if it is, is it annoying to God? Does it bother God when we pray? Does God sometimes think “Okay already, get moving with the prayer so I can get ON with this whole Universe-maintenance thing I’ve got going on”?

I was going to try to draw a parallel between Christian approaches to prayer and Jewish approaches to prayer, but I can’t.

Instead I want to talk about what prayer means to me. It’s not a conversation with God. It’s more like… a telegram to God. Slightly more old-school.

God, thank you for the people in my life.

God, please watch over my friend who is worried about their health.

God, thank you for my Yiddishkeit. 

God, thank you for the soul in me. (aka the Modeh Ani)

God, thank you for bringing me to this moment. (aka the Shehecheyanu)

God, help me get through this rough patch.

Mostly it’s thanks, and a few petitions for people who are in pain or need help.

Is that enough? Is it too much?

I don’t know, but it’s how I pray.

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