Prayer – Hebrew: tefillah

Hebrew: tefillah תפלח means ‘prayer* from the heart’.  Its root pileil comes from the prayer of Pinchas (Numbers 25) and means ‘to judge’.   Pinchas was a high priest who stood against idolatry through inter-marriage and executed (judged) a Midianite woman and Israelite man who had brought a plague upon the Israelites.  This definition suggests that tefillah is the ‘judging of oneself before God’ where one takes a long looked at themselves (self-examination) in the presence of a holy God to ‘judge’ whether they have lived up to God’s potential in their lives.  

There are several parts and ‘terms’ to Jewish prayer.  The amidah (from Abraham’s prayer) acknowledges that we are standing in the presence of the Creator of the universe with reverence and fear.  The  sichah (from Isaac’s prayer)  brings us into a personal, intimate and quiet  conversation with the holy One, the loving and compassionate Father and Friend.  This part of prayer joins man with his Creator.   The pegiah (from Jacob’s prayer) confronts God and appeals to his mercy and compassion toward our broken and fallen state.  The chinam (from Moshe’s prayer) reminds us that prayer is a generous gift and anything we receive from the Father is freely given to us, we don’t deserve it.

*The English word ‘prayer’  actually comes from the Latin word precari which means ‘to beg’.

©2017 Tentstake Ministries

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