The Service of the Heart

Prodigal:  This place just has a calming peace with it.

Me:  I know,  to stop and pray would be amazing!

Prodigal:  That would be wonderful.

This is from the book

How Firm a Foundation:  A Gift of Jewish Wisdom for Christians and Jews by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

The reason why we pray, said William James, is simply that we cannot help praying.  Prayer is the most natural and universal human urge, man’s spiritual ladder linking him with ultimacy itself.  It springs almost instinctively from the human condition in which man, a finite being, encounters a personal, infinite, and loving God, one who hears man’s cries and is deeply concerned for his welfare.  Prayer represents the language and music of our souls.  Its enrapturing power penetrates to the very core of our being.  Prayer gives expression to man’s longing for devekut (“union with the divine”) and to his feelings of awe and wonder over God’s creation.  It stems from man’s quest to encounter the living God and from his thirst to communicate with him.  It flows from our abiding faith in God’s immanence and from our unswerving trust that “the Lord is near to all who call upon him …in truth” (Ps. 145:18).  The mystical tradition describes the purifying, regenerative magic of prayer in the following manner:  “As the flame clothes the black, sooty clod in a garment of fire and releases the heat imprisoned therein, even so does prayer clothe a man in a garment of holiness, evoke the light and fire implanted within him by his Maker, illumine his whole being, and unite the Lower and the Higher Worlds.”  Indeed, “would that man would pray all day” (B.T., Ber 21a).

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.  This is the true God, and eternal life.  1 John 5:20

Jennifer Van Allen

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