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Printed from HarfordChabad.org

Don't Pray

Thursday, 9 February, 2017 - 10:17 am

Those of you who know me know that I struggle with prayer. I want prayer to be a meaningful, deep, connecting moment with G-d; an experience which alters my day. Alas, it does not always work out. I might even say that most people find prayer to be little more than ‘saying words’ as opposed to a G-dly experience.

You would probably agree with me that Moses, the Jewish leader, who took the Jews out of the Egyptian bondage and spoke to G-d on a regular basis, would not fall into this category. Moses’s prayers were meaningful.

When the Jewish people left Egypt and Pharaoh got nervous and started to chase after them, Moses stood praying to G‑d to save the Jewish people.  Strangely, G-d’s response to Moses’s prayer is don’t pray, now is not the time for prayer, ‘tell my children to travel’.

This message to Moses resonates with me.  There are times to pray and times to act. When praying, it is ideal to make it an experience through which we build our connection with G-d. However, if you have a challenge and you can do something to overcome it, then put your faith in G-d and don’t pray. G‑d says the time for action is not the time for prayer. Have faith in Him, but G-d helps those that help themselves. G-d has faith in you that you will DO SOMETHING.

G-d was telling Moses, tell my people to travel, to move forward towards the receiving of the Torah! Prayer is important, yet leadership is not just about praying, it is about taking action.

See you on shabbos so we can pray together 

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

 P.S. A bit of wit on this topic

A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted G-d to rescue him. A neighbor came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to G-d and I’m sure he will save me”

A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to G-d and I’m sure he will save me”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to G-d and I’m sure he will save me”

All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with G-d. Ushered into G-d’s throne room he said, “G-d, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

“Yes you did my child” replied the G-d. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you didn’t do anything, you were too busy praying” (Source: unknown)

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