The following is a chapter from my book where I have discussed prayer, how it definitely works and how to use it to our benefit:
Are you ready for one of the best kept secrets of the world (this is secret, so make sure you tell everyone)? Prayer works. Not just sometimes; but, when done correctly, every time.
How do I know? Hashem told us. In the Talmud there are many stories of miracles from Rav Hanina ben Dosa. Whatever he prayed for, including impossible nature controlling events, it happened – his prayers were successful. The message that Hashem is giving us through Rav ben Dosa is: If you pray correctly, it works!
Another proof, that I personally have, is many years of success with my prayers, and observation of tens of thousands of people over decades. I have observed that when individuals pray according to Hashem’s instructions, they are successful and when they don’t, use your imagination.
Two things one needs to know about successful praying is (1) why it works and (2) how does one pray properly. The why is easy to explain. I mentioned that we are partners in creation with Hashem. He created the universe, according to scriptures, by looking into his Torah, His blueprint of the universe; and, by simply uttering the words of Torah, the universe came into being. But, as we say every day in prayer, Hear O Israel: Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One. This is a very profound statement that declares that everything in the universe is one within Hashem. That has a much deeper meaning, but what is important to us is that when we speak, Hashem gave us the ability to cause things to happen. Our prayers are not ascended to Hashem for the purpose of Him making a decision, whether He should say yes or no. Our words actually cause energies to flow and bring about positive or negative results. Hashem already knows well in advance what we will think, say and do. Prayer is for us to actually verbalize our thoughts and cause the results. It is a gift from Hashem that is so under used, but even worse, abused. For, even when we are not in prayer, every word we say causes energies to flow and things to happen. Improper language is not just a means of expression, but cause for very negative occurrences. Words of love and hate translate into positive and negative reactions. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, etc (what we like to call acts of Hashem) are acts of Hashem’s system caused by us. It is the reason that the world is in such dire straits at this juncture in history.
I am sure that I have many skeptics on this subject, but let me touch upon some very obvious proof. There was a very impressive discovery made a few years ago in Russia. Simple words and thoughts can have an effect on changing the DNA of a person. It was in the news with the headlines “Faith Healing Explained.” There are several write-ups on the web if you want to check it out.
It is well known that when people get together to pray for the speedy recovery of a sick person, there is improvement. Medical science has discovered that humor, as an example, can spark the immune system. When we laugh, we can become healthier. Even more outlandish is how plants can grow better and healthier when one talks nicely to them or even sings to them. What has been demonstrated in a lab environment is that positive statements, such as compliments, words of praise or of affection, cause the formation of crystals such as these:
I think that last sentence would affect anyone.
It says in the Torah “Those who bless you will be blessed; and, those who curse you will be cursed.”
I already have talked about the idea that every natural disaster that has occurred in the world has immediately followed a negative occurrence in Israel or even negative words said about Israel or the Jews. Now you know how that happens within Hashem’s system for this world.
We also have many statements and miracles from Rabbi’s and other holy people who will testify with many examples as to the effectiveness of proper praying. It wouldn’t mean much to anyone, but I personally have experienced miraculous results including immediate results in time of need. My stories are extensive, but only your own experiences would solidify the validity of prayer. I used to teach a class on prayer when I lived in the states. Many times Hashem had setup my students by performing miracles for them after praying. It made my job easy, convincing people that prayer works. Hashem is always there to help.
Let me tell you about three tools that I personally have used for health problems. One is called a Pizmon which is nothing more than a statement that I say repeatedly that convinces my soul not to give me pain (I will discuss this later). Pain is in the mind and the mind is in the spiritual realm. By simply convincing the soul that the pain is unjustified, it goes away. I have witnessed this on a man who had a slipped disc, a woman with migraine headaches as well as using it on myself. In all cases the medical problem wasn’t totally solved, but the pain was eliminated. I have a friend that we got together every day to study, but he could not sit still for long because of a knee pain. After I taught him the Pizmon, pain disappeared and studying was no longer interrupted.
Two other techniques that I have used are NAET and EFT (Google to get more information including what the acronyms stand for). These techniques are involved, but have been totally effective in solving just about any medical problem one might have, without drugs. Through a practitioner, NAET is described as an alternative treatment for the permanent elimination of food and environmental allergies. I, however, have used it for many other purposes. It diagnoses the problem and then cures it. EFT is a form of acupuncture without the needles. It is used for almost any medical ailment and, the best part of all, one can perform the procedure by him or herself without a practitioner. Both techniques include words being said and souls being talked to – very spiritual, very mystical, but very effective. They are a form of prayer or meditation and they work. These tools as well as everyday prayer have served me and my family well. Even though I never needed it for these purposes, all three techniques have proven effective in weight loss and/or smoking cessation.
A fascinating story with which I was involved that demonstrates the power of prayer. I received a call, years ago, from a friend in the states who was totally distraught that his wife had developed mental problems. My wife and I knew this woman and believed her to be a very lovely, calm and pleasant person. The husband was telling us that a psychiatrist determined her to be crazy and even non-functional. They were ready to take her away from her family and institutionalize her. A Rabbi in the town that we lived, suggested that she should make a trip to Israel and see a particular very mystical Rabbi who had the ability to cure with words. The husband arranged the trip and I arranged the meeting of the woman and the Rabbi. After two days of prayer and chanting of certain verses from scriptures (in which the Rabbi was totally trained), the woman was completely cured and back to her pleasant self again. The explanation was that we do have good and evil forces that can enter our spiritual makeup, and that prayer can enhance or eliminate as needed. This woman actually had demonic forces invade her and the Rabbi knew the remedy. You may think this is all hocus pocus fantasy (I used to), but after I experienced this situation first hand, I became totally convinced of its validity.
The next question is: what are some of the tools and techniques that make prayer work? Your prayers won’t be perfect; but, I have seen tremendous results right away in others and, of course, my own personal experiences. Once I learned some of the secrets, vast changes came into my life and the lives of my loved ones. One caveat: my prayer is not perfect and still improving after 68 years (I started to learn about prayer when I was three years old). Hashem in His mercy makes it easy for you to succeed if you have the proper attitude, even if you need much improvement – you will see positive results rapidly. Here again the subject is so extensive that books have been written. I can only give you a cursory look at the subject.
The most important concept in proper prayer is: “knowing before Whom we are standing and taking it very seriously.” If we were standing in front of an important king of flesh and blood, we would be scared to death. We would never turn around and talk to a friend, start reading something that does not pertain to our meeting with the king, dress improperly, act silly, drink something, talk on the cell phone (that is a biggie), etc. We would believe that if we acted improperly at such a moment, the king might give the ever so familiar “Off with his head!!! (G-d forbid)” command and that could ruin your whole day. Even if we were put in front of the owner of a large corporation, the CEO that just happens to be our employer, the big boss, we would also be in fear of our livelihood, if we messed up. But yet we stand in front of the King of Kings, the Owner of the universe, the Big Big Boss, three times a day (not to mention being observed by Him 24/7) with the consequences of damaging our eternal life forever and ever, and we do not act accordingly. How many people do you know that pray realistically in fear and love with a sense of urgency and trepidation knowing that the outcome of this event will determine their entire future?
Let me turn this completely around and give a very different approach to the situation. We have been given the gift, the privilege of a private audience with Hashem three times a day, morning, afternoon and evening (of course, He is available 24/7 to help those who simply turn to Him). This golden opportunity, if done correctly, will make our lives much more pleasant, productive, successful and enjoyable forever and ever. Wow, what a gift. But the way we treat this is similar to someone giving us a million dollars that we put in a safe that we don’t have the combination. Yes, we own the money, but never can use it since we made the mistake of putting somewhere out of reach.
I know that praying three times a day for us creatures of habit becomes a very routine act and very often results in lip service. We pray very quickly with the attitude of “let us get this done and get out of here, we have more important things to do,” or do we? What is even worse is that our minds drift and at the most important time of praying, the silent devotion when we get to request all our personal needs and wants. We think to ourselves “I have to pick up some bread on the way home, or I am going to fix that broken appliance today.” We end this particular important part of prayer with the statement “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You.” But there is nothing in the prayer that says “please ignore the part about picking up the bread or fixing the appliance.” If our prayers are not focused properly, we are wasting the most important opportunity of the day.
A hint to avoiding the mind drifting is to prepare in advance. We have prayers for everything – for people that we know who are sick, for those who are financially in trouble, for those who are in trouble with the law, etc, etc, etc. If we prepare in advance with a plan to think about each individual that we want to help as we come to the prayer that pertains to that individual (it is very important to picture the person in your mind as you pray), it works. We channel our minds away from the trivia and accomplish our intended request.
Of course, don’t forget the prayers that simply say thank You to Hashem or praising Him. They should be prepared in advance as well. To thank Hashem for everything is OK, but to thank Him for something specific that recently happened is much more meaningful. That shows the idea of extra thought and inspiration going into your prayers. Making our prayers work for us and totally successful is much more gratifying than lip service. All distractions must be eliminated. It is one of the biggest reasons that men and women should not pray together. Show me a man that says he is not distracted and completely can concentrate on prayer with a woman in front of him, and I will show you a liar (or a homosexual). The other problem is when men and women are together it is usually in more of a social gathering where there is more trivia talking than praying. Complete concentration makes prayer effective. Distractions take away the gift of communing with Hashem.
Tomorrow, B”N, I will continue by discussing very specific improvements in prayer that work.