I know there is a Christian prayer that has the line "thy will be done" which is the Jewish way of thinking. As such, we usually pray to thank G_d and only if a few things ask for that which the most high already wills.
Also, on occasion I have a heard Christians pray in this mode and at other times it is as if they are pleading for themselves or those they love. That type of prayer is actually risk a possible curse on ones self. There is the story of a many walking near Rome and he prays to G_d for a donkey/. A few minutes later a Roman General and his soldiers approach coming down the road. The General ask the poor man to carry his donkey! - so did he not get what he was aksing for?
We have two concepts that guide us Emmunah and Bitichon. Below is what they are and I hope you can personally use these.
Emunah is Knowing that G_d created, maintains, and runs the world. Emunah is based on how close one walks (Madregah) with the G_d. The higher a person’s Madregah, the more clearly they see G_ds involvement in the world.. The more of G_ds commandments you follow, the closer you walk. Faith is not enough.
The four practical levels to increasing your Emunah:
1. G_d created the word 2. G_D is involved in big picture issues (famine, war, life and death issues) 3. G_D knows my thoughts (Transparent man) 4. G_D is involved in the running of my life Bitachon is Trusting in G_D, relying on G_D, understanding that G_d has our best interests in mind (if you want G_ds will be done) , and knows better than I what is truly for my good. It is a learned attitude that requires action to make into a habit. You must train yourself to stop trusting in thing that aren’t worthy of your trust, and learning to trust only in HASHEM who is worthy of trust. One who doesn’t trust in G_d must trust in other things, things not so trustworthy. Hope this can be useful to you in your relationship with G_d.
Jeff, thank you for posting the above. These are the types of prayer that I believe most Christians are familiar with:
Prayer is a form of communication, a way of talking to God or to the saints. Not all prayers are the same, however. Here are brief descriptions of the five major types of prayer.
In prayers of adoration or worship, we praise the greatness of God, and we acknowledge our dependence on him in all things. The Mass and the other liturgies of the Church are full of prayers of this sort, such as the Gloria (or Glory to God). Among private prayers, the Act of Faithis a prayer of adoration.
In a prayer of expiation or contrition, we acknowledge our sinfulness and ask God for His forgiveness and mercy. The Confiteor or Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass, and the Agnus Dei (or Lamb of God) before Communion, are prayers of expiation, as is the Act of Contrition.
Prayers of love or charity are just that—expressions of our love for God, the source and object of all love. The Act of Charity is perhaps the best example of a prayer of love.
Prayers of petition are the type of prayer we are most familiar with. In them, we ask God for things we need—primarily spiritual needs, but physical ones as well. Our prayers of petition should always include a statement of our willingness to accept God's will, whether He directly answers our prayer or not. The Our Father is a good example of a prayer of petition, and the line "Thy will be done" shows that, in the end, we acknowledge that God's plans for us are more important than what we desire.
Perhaps the most neglected type of prayer is prayer of thanksgiving. While Grace Before Meals is a good example of a prayer of thanksgiving, we should get into the habit of thanking God throughout the day for the good things that happen to us and to others.
We need to remember that no is also an answer.
Gail and Rachael, this is an extremely important topic Jeff has started, in my opinion. It gets to the core of whom we believe the Creator is and "how" does He knows the affairs of our lives. That could fills volumes on theology, but Rachael has marked a starting point. I do not believe we are so far apart on the matter. The Creator does not "know things" in the same sense as humans do. He is not aware of our needs and actions as if there were surveillance cameras and microphones rigged in our homes, offices and cars. I won't attempt to address how He knows here.
Yet I agree with Jeff and Gail. There are times when we are "too specific" in asking for a particular outcome. And also times when we are "too vauge" and we let Him off the hook. The balance would be to indeed plea, as the patriarchs have often done, but then accept His will in the outcome.
The implied danger can be when we wrap our prayers in words that do not allow "NO" to be the answer. The Creator is not fooled by our shenanigans and may promptly issue the very thing we insisted, even if it is to our own demise. I think it is in light of our own human tendency to try and manipulate circumstances that "Thy Will Be Done", is the proper frame of mind. Not to let Him off the off, but to, as Gail said, be prepared to accept the "NO".
I have learned that discussing issues of theology in a forum format can be difficult. Not always, Yet please allow for possibility that I have not expressed my thoughts clearly. That it may take several entries of dialogue to hammer out a single point even if we are in agreement. Or longer if we are in disagreement ... which is also OK.
I agree Gerald, I believe that when we pray we should expect a YES answer, there is no point in praying expecting a NO. We might get a NO or our prayers might not get answered EXACTLY as we expect but I believe in positive prayer. Sometimes our prayers are answered most unexpectedly in a way that we would not have anticipated.
Diana, I am in full agreement that it don't get no better. Mateniya, you ask what is it that I can provide my Father with, the answer to that question I think is a relationship. He created us for his pleasure. Did he not walk in the garden with Adam?
I do not know if need is the proper word Jesus as a Jew would not say and change the Fathers will, but what is the Fathers will.
We are in agreement that prayer does work. In the Torah do you remember a man named Jabez? It is a rather brief passage of one mans prayer to the Father. It is in 1 Chronicles 4: 10. When you speak of gratitude, what is it that you are grateful for other then what God has done for you.
I have always wondered, when Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the commandments of God and the Israelites were making and worshipping a golden calf, did Moses have any influence on God not destroying the nation of Israel.
I also agree that wanting what God wills strengthens our relationship, just like a child doing as he is told, but a child also asks questions and asks for what they want. I don't believe this to be arrogance, but a natural part of any relationship.
Free will. This is a subject that is very hard for us to understand as I think there are two meanings. Man thinks of free will as a choice of do I go to work today or stay in bed. I think that there is another meaning entirely different.
Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, was afraid to be seen with Jesus met with him late one night.In the Gospel of John, one of Jesus's followers the following exchange took place.Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 3:2the same came unto him by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him. 3:3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 3:4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 3:5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! 3:6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 3:7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew. 3:8The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 3:9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 3:10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things? 3:11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 3:12If I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?
I think having a free will comes after one has been born of the Spirit as Jesus told Nicodemus. Until that time we are bound by the chains of sin. After being born of the spirit we are no longer bound by those chains and we now have by the grace of God the free will to choose to sin or not. This does not mean we do not sin only that we the free will to choose.
Perhaps it is not possible to precisely know His will, but if we walk in His path then the things we ask for will be in accordance to His will nonetheless. I am thinking of the Agony in the Garden. Jesus was certain that arrest and execution were at hand. Yet pleaded to avoid it while at the same time knowning there was no escape at that point. Jesus asked for something even when it was certain the answer would be NO. I agree, prayer is about communicaton in a relationship to change us, not Him.
Mateniya, I know that you are still waiting for your Messiach and I do appreciate the fact that you know of Jesus. It is said that He came to fulfill the law not to abolish it. With that said I believe that Jesus was the Messiah and when He became the Fathers sacrificial Lamb and atonement was made on my behalf the law was fulfilled and by the grace of God I have been forgiven and am now acceptable to the Father.
I once had to interview a Rabbi for one of my college courses last year and he made the statement that the law was for the Jew and not for the Gentile. I have only been accepted in the NT. Does the law apply to me?...... Feel like I want to get even lol
PEACE BE UNTO YOU ALSO MY FREIND