Prayer – Where Are You Now (S1E6)

Special guest Sarah joins us in our meandering exploration of prayer. What is it? Is it praise? Appreciation? Thanks? Beseeching? Requests? Or something deeper?

We go through some Facebook comments on Meir Simcha’s post on prayer, and from this Facebook post discuss different conceptions of what praying may be. There are so many ways to classify it, whether social, communal, spiritual, theological, ritualistic, religious, or anything else. But what does it mean to pray, really?

As a special bonus, we introduce theme music for one avid listener (and commenter). There are even suggestions for great Christian praying songs, too, from your favorite Jewish podcasters, along with quite a few callbacks to concepts introduced in previous episodes as well. There are so many beautiful Christian prayer songs!

After a breakdown of the Hebrew root of the word prayer, we begin to parse what the word really means. Ultimately, through exploring the different ideas of what it means to pray, we suggest a paradigm shift on what prayer really might be. We are used to thinking of prayer as something you do – and perhaps, it is more about where you are standing than what you are doing. It’s not about the thing – it’s about what’s behind it. And what’s behind it is entering into a space before G-d. Praying is about intimacy, about a relationship.

Prayer – Where You Stand

Prayer, in the Jewish tradition, is “Avoda” – service. In Rabbinic Judaism, it takes the place of the Temple service! Just as the Holy of Holies in the Temple is referred to as a bedroom in the Navi (Prophets), praying is about sharing an intimate space with the Divine. It’s WHERE you stand that matters most. Where are you? This is the question asked of Adam when he leaves Eden, and it’s the question we all attempt to answer each time we pray.

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