April 26, 2006

Talking to G-d

I was talking to a friend the other day, inviting her to a function on our Yishuv, and as happens when two friends get talking the subject moved from the event to other topics. Kids, work, life.
And G-d.
I don't know how we got there, but soon we were talking about G-d and how we relate to Him, and prayer.
"I have trouble praying" she admitted.
Well, so do I...ritual prayer. The sort of praying one must do everyday, at specific times etc. etc.
I'm terrible at that. I don't really enjoy the time...I...and I know this isn't good, try to get it over with. Most of the time.
But...the prayers of the heart..this I can do this quite easily, I do it all the time. I keep up a running conversation with G-d sometimes...What a lovely day, thank you! Do you mind not sending us...how about some money here Hashem, we could really use it....G-d feels to me like a friend, Someone who is truly there for me, though sometimes I don't understand how and begin to wonder if I'm right. But usually I just talk to G-d.

She doesn't feel that connection. She believes in G-d, believes in the Torah but has a fear sort of relationship with Him. I'm not critcizing her btw, doing something because it was commanded by G-d and not because one wants to is a good thing. This is what G-d wants of her, so she does it. I guess we all do that to some extent.

But I like these free conversations with G-d better, and I think life would be much harder on me emotionally without them....and the conversation made me wonder....

How do you realate to G-d? How do you feel about ritualized prayers vs heart prayers? Why do you follow whatever religious path you follow? What is your impetus? Your understanding of the laws and why they are there?

Posted by Rachel Ann at April 26, 2006 06:35 AM | TrackBack

I have those sorts of conversations with G-d all the time. Tell G-d about my day. Argue about what's going on in the world (One-sided, but I figure G-d's listening). Thank G-d for big stuff and little stuff and the small miracles of every day life. I do it throughout the day and just before I go to bed at night. I've done it since I was a little kid.

To me, in some ways, this is the essence of what it means to be a Jew--to have that very personal relationship with G-d. To occasionally disagree with/argue with/wrestle with those questions. I've explained this to Christian friends before and been occasionally looked at like I was from Mars.

Ritualized prayer also has a place for me though. I feel like the familiar words, chanting, and rhythm get me into the place where I can open my heart. They relax me, add a sense of familiarity, and a sense of community knowing that Jews the world over are, for the most part, saying the same words, chanted in, for the most part, the same way). I've felt my stress melt away in Shabbat services before. Because I know the words and because they're not in my first language, the prayer for me comes more from my heart and soul than from my mouth.

Anyway..was long, but that's what I think

Posted by: Becka at April 26, 2006 04:35 PM

I tried using words once in Catholic school to do that thing they described as ''Pray'', but it turns out that my deeds connect me to God better than words do.

To know the ''Artist'' I have studied the ''painting'' and have since added my own brush strokes to that billion year old masterpiece.

God could ask no more of me than to do my best with the material that I have been given to do it with.

Every minute of every day is a prayer given and gift used well.

Posted by: Thomas T. Panto at April 26, 2006 07:46 PM

I loved reading your post here and I am so glad you talk to G-D in your own way. How could that not be a good thing? HE made us all a bit different...some folks prove HE has a good sense of humor, eh?...but any rate, I feel HE listens to me and helps me to know HIM in various ways, such as reading and studying scripture, singing, praying...all those things. Have felt on a few occasions in my life that HE spoke to me, in my mind. I was in a very difficult spot then and was in complete dismay and very much needed that kind of encouragement. Will always remember that very special time. I consider the scripture to be HIS letters to us...even more special than these we write to each other here and in snail mail, etc.
Blessings on you, dearie!

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 1, 2006 02:29 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?