Prayer is the human side of an unending dialog between God and man. It is through the Scriptures that God speaks to man. Man’s response to God is prayer. Most Hebrew prayers are expressions of adoration and gratitude. They are prayers of thanksgiving and praise for God’s boundless mercy and goodness, for His providential love and beneficence to all His creatures. Prayers also play an educational role, especially petitionary prayers.
Petitionary prayers voice our needs, and they ask for deliverance from the various afflictions that beset us in the world. The function of petitionary prayer is to make us more conscious of our dependence on God, that we may thereby become more receptive to divine influences. God answers petitionary prayer, but not necessarily according to our specifications.
Man and God are partners in the work of creation; therefore man must be a co-worker with God in the struggle against the deficiencies which challenge him.
(1) We cannot expect God to overrule the laws operative in His universe.
(2) God cannot replace our own role in effecting the goals we seek.
(3) We cannot expect God to heed our request when they run counter to the needs of the world as a whole.
(4) We cannot expect God to lift us out of the limitations which are inherent in the human condition, i.e. our mortality (life is given us for only a limited allotment of time) or our capacity to feel pain (when attacked by hostile forces in our environment).
God answers our prayers by helping us attain our goals, now or later, or by giving us the power to accept our condition and endure it. The function of prayer in all its manifestations is to bring us closer to God, that we may more faithfully perform His will. It is not to induce God to perform our will.
This is the first of a new project we call “Keys to Understanding the Teachings of the Real Yeshua.”
If you think this is beneficial and want to see more studies like this, please Click Here to go to the new Real Yeshua Facebook Page and LIKE IT. (This is a new Facebook page so please like it even if you liked the old page. After you “Like” the new page you will receive a “Friends Request” that will allow you to interact more if you accept it.)
Source: The Prayer Boor: Weekday, Sabbath, and Festival Translated and arranged by Ben Zion Bokser © 1983 (Behrman House Publishers, Inc., New York, NY)