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Prayer and Torah, the Two Way Street

Thoughts and Prayers from Jerusalem

Shalom from Jerusalem!

Whoever turns his ear from listening to Torah, his prayer is also an abomination.

Shabbat 10, 1

The sages quote Proverbs 28:9 and clarify their values in no uncertain terms. Engaging in prayer without respecting Torah - God's words to Man directly, through prophets, and especially as expounded upon by Its students and teachers - is the wrong thing to do. But didn't they go a bit too far? An Abomination? Wouldn't "His prayer is not accepted" have done the trick?

The Bible uses the word "abomination" (To'evah in the original Hebrew) infrequently and never lightly. Usually, it refers to something that has to do with idol worship, improper sexual behavior, and certain forbidden foods. Ezekiel uses this term often with regard to the sins Israel committed with the false gods of the Canaanite nations, and the author of Proverbs uses the word metaphorically to scorn the evil and unwise who call good traits an abomination.

Torah and prayer are two sides of one coin. Torah is God speaking to us, and Prayer is us speaking to Him. To refrain from hearing what God wants to say to us is not unlike a child interrupting a parent's sentence, which proves lack of interest in that adult. Why should the wise adult continue speaking if no one's listening?

So if God (as it were) withdraws when we pray if we did not listen to His words, who is left to listen to our prayers? If we think it is God but it is not, then by definition it is a false god = idol worship.

Today, meditate on a thought from the Bible before engaging God in prayer.

Today's Prayer: Monday's Psalm 48

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Thoughts about Prayer from Jerusalem

Prayer is the foundation of the relationship between God and His children, and its primary vehicle. Sages of old have created a wealth of wisdom based on the Bible, giving people in all generations the opportunity to contemplate on these thoughts to help them focus in their relationships with the One Above.

Select a Thought below, or subscribe to our newsletter, Thoughts and Prayers from Jerusalem, to get them in your inbox!

God's Temple and the Patriarchs | God's Love is a Two Way Street | Set A Space For Prayer | Set A Time For Prayer | Follow God's Lead - Pray | Be A Hero - Pray Regularly | Be A Good Neighbor - Pray | God Loves Communal Prayer | Pray From Center Stage, Not From The Sidelines | Pray with Friends and Family | Pray to the Heights from the Depths | Pray For Your Friend | Pray First! | Compassion and Prayer | Parents and Prayer | Pray for an Enjoyable Livelihood | Recognize God's Blessing in Everything | Make Room for Goodness | Do Right for the Right Reasons | Pray For Light and Happiness | Overcoming Human Nature | Humility Leads The Way | Ask God for Help with Proper Speech | Prayer Without Intent Is Better Than Not Praying At All | Pray With Your All | Pray With Intent, And Your Prayer Will Carry You | Pray About Problems, And Trust In The Future | Pray for a Successful Journey | Focus on the What, the How, and Especially the Where of Prayer | Stand Up For Your [Prayer] Rights | Pray With Intent | Quantity Time Leads to Quality Prayer | Find Favor in the Eyes of God and Man (Proverbs 3) | Happiness is Serious Business | Learn from the Experts | Hear Your Own Prayer, and God Will Too | Praise The Lord and Pass The Adoration | Prayer, a Rite for all Seasons | The Holy Temple is Our Heart's Desire | If At First You Don't Succeed, Pray, Pray Again | Take Your Time, And The Answer Will Follow | Be Strong and of Good Courage (Joshua 1) | The Long And The Short Of It | Pray For Your Neighbor As Yourself | No Runs, No Hits, No Errors | What's Done Is Done | Have the Time of your Life | We Were As Dreamers (Psalms 126) | Clear Your Thoughts and Empty Your Hands | You're Going To Reap What You Pray | Focus On The Positive | Clarify Your Intent-ions | Pray From The Heart | Pray Long, Pray Hard, Pray Sure | Lead The Way in Prayer | Jerusalem and Prayer, The Dynamic Duo | Group Prayer - You'll Never Walk Alone | A Time and A Place for Everything | Tear Down the Walls and Open the Gates | Look Around You, Look and Listen | Cut To The Chase | Prayer and Good Deeds, Like a Hand in a Glove | Prayer and Torah, the Two Way Street |

If you are inspired by these thoughts, we encourage you to join like-minded people of faith worldwide as members of the Holy City Prayer Society. Join today!

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