Archive for the ‘Prayer Life’ Category

Hannah’s Prayer

Then Hannah prayed; she said:

“My heart exults in AdonaiMy dignity has been restored by AdonaiI can gloat over my enemies, because of my joy at your saving me.

“No one is as holy as Adonaibecause there is none to compare with you, no rock like our God.

“Stop your proud boasting! Don’t let arrogance come from your mouth! For Adonai is a God of knowledge, and he appraises actions. The bows of the mighty are broken, while the feeble are armed with strength. The well-fed hire themselves for bread, while those who were hungry hunger no more. The barren woman has borne seven, while the mother of many wastes away.

Adonai kills and makes alive; he brings down to the grave, and he brings up. Adonai makes poor, and he makes rich; he humbles, and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, lifts up the needy from the trash pile; he gives them a place with leaders and assigns them seats of honor.

“For the earth’s pillars belong to Adonaion them he has placed the world. He will guard the steps of his faithful, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. For it is not by strength that a person prevails — those who fight Adonai will be shattered; he will thunder against them in heaven — Adonai will judge the ends of the earth. He will strengthen his king and enhance the power of his anointed.”

2 Samuel 2:1-10, Complete Jewish Bible

On Waking

I thank You: These words are to be said immediately upon waking from sleep.  In them we thank God for life itself, renewed each day.  Sleep, said the sages, is ‘one sixtieth of death” (Berakhot 57b).  Waking, therefore, is a miniature rebirth.  Despite its brevity, this sentence articulates a transformative act of faith; the recognition that life is a gift from God.  Expressing gratitude at the fact of being alive, we prepare ourselves to celebrate and sanctify the new day.

Prayer:

I thank You, living and eternal King, for giving me back my soul in mercy (compassion).  Great is Your faithfulness.

Modeh (men) modah (women) melekh chai v’kayam shehecḥezarta bi nishmahti b’cḥemlah, rabah emunatekha.

©Koren Siddur, 1981

Matthew 6:9-13 – The Hebrew Disciples’ Prayer

Tefillah Talmidim – The Disciples’ Prayer

Yeshua taught his followers to pray the well-known “Lord’s Prayer” found in Matthew 6:9-13.  This prayer, though often thought to be ‘new’, actually follows the traditional Jewish outline for tefillah (prayers).  Thus, our Jewish Savior gave his Jewish (and non-Jewish) followers a completely Jewish way to pray to his Father, our Abba, the Creator of the Universe.

:אבינו שבשמים ית1דש שמך

Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadash shemekha.

Our Father in heaven!  May your Name be kept holy.  

:תבא מלכותך יעשה רצונך בארץ כאשר נעשה בשמים

Tavo malkhutekha, ye’aseh r’tzonekha ba’aretz ka’asher na’asah vashamayim.

May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.

These first phrases resemble the kaddish, an ancient Jewish prayer.  Like all Jewish prayers, it begins with acknowledging the Creator of the Universe who is our Father in heaven followed by sanctifying His ‘set apart’ Name, the יהוה .  The coming Kingdom of God is the rule of God’s Spirit in, through, and over the hearts of men.  This is the ultimate fulfillment of the ‘new covenant’ found in Jeremiah 31:31 and will bring forth God’s will on earth as it is in the heavenly realm – obedience to His commands that are part of His Kingdom rule.

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:תן לנוּ היוֹם לחם חקנוּ

Ten-lanu hayom lechem chukeinu.

Give us the bread we need today.

The word ‘give’ at the beginning of this phrase is the imperative.  It presents the idea of a child completely dependent on their father for everything they need.  This day is a reference back to the manna – the bread of life –  in the wilderness which was provided each day in order to build faith in the One who Provides.  Lechem chukeinu is also used in Proverbs 30:8: keep falsehood and futility far from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Yes, provide just the food I need today ….”  

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:וסלח לנוּ את אשמתנו כאשר סלחים אנחנו לאשר אשמו לנוּ

U’selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka’asher solechim anachnu la’asher ashmulanu.

Forgive us our sins just as we are forgiving those who sin against us.

Yeshua taught in Luke 6:38 that we will receive the same measure that we measure out.  This not only includes how we use our gifts, but also includes forgiveness.   Yeshua also made it clear that unless we forgive others, God will not forgive us.  This part of the tefillah is a mirror to our hearts and is in the present progressive as the process of forgiving continues 70 x 7.

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:ואל–תויאנוּ לידי מסה כי אמ–הצילנוּ מן הרע

Ve’al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki im-hatzileinu min-hara.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  

Massa is translated as ‘test or temptation,’ but can also mean ‘despair’ as in the ‘melting of one’s heart.’   This phrase does not suggest that we be kept from trials, but that as we go through them our hearts are changed or melted and be delivered from  falling into despair and becoming bitter or angry. Hatzileinu min-hara is more than being drawn into evil inclination, but a deliverance from the Evil One who is the root of our evil inclinations and tries to steal all glory from God.

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:כי לך הממלכה וחגבוּרה  והתפארת לעולמי עולמים

Ke lakha, hamamlakha, vehageverah, veha tiferet l’olemei ‘olamim.

For kingship, power and glory are yours forever.

The conclusion of this prayer reflects the prayer and praise of King David in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 when he dedicated the first Temple in Jerusalem.

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אמן ו אמן

Amein

Amen

The Jewish sages taught that Amen is an acronym for el melech ne’eman or “God is a faithful King.”

For Courage When Persecuted

Heavenly Father of Yeshua, my self-sacrificing Savior,

As I praise Yeshua for allowing himself to be betrayed, captured and delivered into the hands of cruel persecutors, and then laying down his life in payment for my sins, I ask You for the sake of his suffering, bleeding and dying in my stead, to forgive me the cold cowardice by which I have often hastened from You.  How eagerly I should confess Yeshua as my divine Deliverer, since he did completely finish everything required for my justification, yet how ungratefully and repeatedly I have denied him.  Forgive me and strengthen me with a faith that remains firm and steadfast, even in adversity!  Give me the courage required to valiantly  confess Yeshua before men, friend and foe alike, and to tell the world that You purchased me with a great price, the highest in all history, by the precious blood of Your Son.  Use the afflictions Your love may place upon me to purify my heart and to strengthen my reliance on You.  Help the sick and the sorrowing throughout the whole world.  Comfort especially the defeated and the dying, those who are tortured along with the families of those who have been martyred.  Draw more to You my God through the message of Yeshua’s love.   May I be faithful unto death so that I receive the crown of everlasting life.  Omein.

©Concordia Theological Seminary, 1950

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