Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Prayer Works (continued)

My recent post talking about how prayer works provided me with very few comments to be posted on my blog, but many personal Emails.  Being personal I will not be sharing any specifics with you but I would like to characterize the response in two categories and explain further some details about prayer.

I am happy to say that there were some very inspiring messages about how some of my readers took my suggestion and jumped into the prayer scene with a very positive attitude and complete faith that Hashem is the only Source of help for their situations.  All it takes is some very impressive success and you are on your way to, not believing, but knowing that prayer works and that Hashem is truly a partner in making life happy and successful.  Congratulations to those who made the discovery.  You can’t argue with success.

There was another category of readers who said they tried with full emunah and bitochon (faith and trust) to follow Hashem’s system, but they did not come out with the results they wanted.  To these individual I pointed out some very important factors about Hashem’s system and made them realize what truly happened.  Did they get what they want, or did they get what they needed – in other words what really happened and was it the solution they wanted or was it Hashem’s determination what was best for them?

In my post of 4 April 2012, entitled “The Key to Happiness,” I borrowed a brilliant post from Aish Hatorah that puts prayer and life into perspective:

I asked for strength and H' gave me difficulties to make me strong 
I asked for wisdom and H' gave me problem to solve
I asked for prosperity and H' gave me brawn and brain to work
I asked for courage and H' gave me dangers to overcome
I asked for love and H’ gave me troubled people to help
I asked for favors and H’ gave me opportunities
I received nothing I wanted; I received everything I needed
My prayers were answered.

Is the answer to prayer always what we want or is it what we need?  Is prayer always to make life easier or to help us perfect ourselves to go forward to a more productive life, both here and for eternity?

Let me tell you a theme that I used in answering some of my recent Emails in an effort to try to put into perspective what Hashem wants from us and how He is helping us in ways we can’t even comprehend.
We are in the end of the end of days – the time of the final Tikun and final testing.  Hashem is making this world so scary that even every secular Jew will be doing Teshuvah in the coming months.  The time of Geula will be miraculous -- a time that, as we said Na'aseh v'Nishmah in the first Geula, all the Jews of the world will (in fear) look up and say "help."  That is all the Teshuvah needed since every Jew, including every secular Jew, will have his or her heart circumcised (as it says in Parshas Nitzavim) and all will return to Hashem.  What does it mean having the heart circumcised?  The yetzer harah will be removed, retired and will no longer give a person a choice of the right way or the wrong way.  All the Jews and all righteous non-Jews only will want to follow Hashem with tremendous joy.

So, what exactly is happening to each of us?  Our final testing in life before the Tikun HaOlam occurs.  We are all experiencing exactly what we need which means that our prayers and how they are being answered should give hint to Hashem’s plan for each of us.  If we look at it as a good opportunity to learn more about what we need to still accomplish, then we also can realize it is all good news from Hashem.  It is just difficult for us human beings to understand Hashem's perfect system; in other words, why would Hashem test us the way He does?  When Moshiach is announced, we will fully understand all the "why's."

The most important thing is to, with a very positive attitude, know that Hashem's plan is happening and it is all good news for each one of us.  Continue to talk to Hashem everyday and tell Him that you realize it is a test.  Don't say that you can pass the test; but instead, tell Hashem that it is only with His help that you can succeed.  Realizing the truth about what happens to us is most of the battle in solving any situation.  Hashem wants us to turn to Him for help in every situation, no matter how small it may seem, and when that connection is made, the trials and tribulations of life become more manageable and in most cases completely resolved.

One concluding statement is that “Hashem actually knows much more about what we need to succeed and be happy than we will ever know.”  I have made the statement in the past that “I have everything that I want.”  Am I showing arrogance in saying that Hashem makes sure I get everything that I want?  The fact is, and it comes from decades of Torah study, to learn what I really wanted in life.  When what I want is what Hashem knows that I need, I receive everything that I want.  In other words, when I open the handbook of life (Torah) and learn everything that I want in life to make me successful and totally happy, I wind-up with the same list that Hashem tells me that I need.  When all my needs match all that I want, I get everything that I want.  It works and, the most important thing to come from it is a very happy life for all eternity – who could ask for anything more?


  1. Here is a simple metaphor. As a parent do you give your children whatever they ask for? "Sure here, have all the cake or motor bike or a thousand dollars." We don't give our children everything they want. That would be insane! They may want it but as adults with infinitely more wisdom we know that an over night trip without adult supervision is a recipe for disaster. G-d also says "no" to us. Our sages say, "A man who doesn't disciple his children, hates him." G-d knows what each of us requires. He knows if too much money will send us off into the realm of materialism, arrogance and self destruction. He knows that in order to soften the heart it often requires pain and suffering. If all that we want from G-d are "things" then our concept of G-d is juvenile.

    1. Excellent analogy; but, I am happy to say that what I said about me, holds true for my very observant children and grandchildren. They would only ask Hashem for what they need. They, like myself (and wife), know what the Torah tells us and they, therefore, have "want lists" that perfectly match Hashem's "what we need list." I know since for years I made the payments. As an example, my grandchildren get very excited about new books and are not even allowed to use a computer. They have never seen television and therefore have no idea of the filth they are missing. They have never been to a movie house which doesn't even exist in our city. I could go on an on about what they want versus what they need, but the most important thing is they are extremely happy children who are satisfied with their lot. B"H