Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Prayer – Hebrew: Tefillah


Tefillah in Hebrew means  ‘prayer* from the heart’ 

The root of tefillah is pileil and comes from the prayer of Pinchas (Numbers 25) and means ‘to judge’.   Pinchas was a high priest who stood against idolatry and ‘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 look at themselves (self-examination) in the presence of a holy God to ‘judge’ whether they have lived up to His potential in their lives.  

Hebrew Word Pictures

Tav – ‘Crossed Sticks’ means ‘sign or covenant’

Peh – ‘Mouth’ means ‘source or speak’

Lamed – ‘Shepherd’s Staff’ means ‘prod or urge forward’ or ‘leader like a shepherd’

Hey – ‘A Window’ means ‘reveal or behold’

tefillah – covenant of the mouth prods to behold

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

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.

©2017 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

For a Prayer-Filled Heart

Father, whose Spirit strengthens me,

I confess that too often I fail to realize ‘what a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer.”  I also admit that too frequently I am impatient, demanding an immediate answer.  Therefore, I ask you not to charge these sins against me, but through Messiah, who removed the handwriting against me, forgive me!  I know that You hear my prayers and I find both on the pages of Scriptures and in the records of history almost endless evidence that You have answered the cries of Your children.  Deepen my prayer life and so that I have a prayer-filled heart.  I trust the promises of Your Son, Yeshua, who has told me that You would incline your hear to hear me.  Faithful Father, look mercifully upon me in Yeshua’s name and answer my petitions.  Relying on Messiah, who as my substitute offering suffered the guilt and curse for all my shortcomings, I plead for pardon and the power to lead a consecrated and holy life.  I ask this and whatever else my soul needs, in my Redeemers name, since he died to restore me to You.   For his sake, her me and help me.  Omein.

©Concordia Theological Seminary, 1950

For Contrition and Courage

Heavenly Father, Abba of Messiah, our blessed Redeemer and perfect Ransom,


With bowed head and contrite heart, I approach Your mercy to confess my thanklessness for Yeshua’s atoning sorrows and death, to acknowledge that too often I have been ashamed of You, whose grace never as ashamed of me.  Forgive me, and by the mercy of Messiah’s blood shed on the cross, blot out the guilt and graciously behold the unbelieving, the scoffing, the selfish, the carnally secure, and bring them, as me to repentance and faith in Your all-embracing redemption.  Fortify the faith of Your redeemed worshippers, who, trusting in You,  are still weak and inconsistent, often lonely and disheartened.  Encourage them to cling to You for immovable support in their wavering hours, for Your companionship on their solitary paths, for the victory of faith over the onslaughts of doubt and distrust!  Hear my prayer, bless me and prepare me for my part in Your Kingdom, for Your Name’s sake, in fulfillment of Your holy promise.  In the name of Messiah, Omein.

©Concordia Theological Seminary, 1950

For the Enemies of the Gospel

LORD and FAther of  our spotless Messiah,

When I wonder why in times of opposition, as in the hours of Messiah’s suffering, enemies who satanically attack Yeshua are seemingly permitted to remain unpunished, train my thoughts to recognize that those who rise up against You must, if their unbelief remains unforgiven, face frightful punishment.  Still, while on the cross suffering agony and shame, Yeshua cried out for his crucifiers: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”   Help me pray for my enemies.  Rescue and restrain every foe of the faith!  Touch the hearts of those who oppose the message of salvation.  Help them hear and obey Yeshua’s repeated invitation to put their faith in You.  As those who cried out “His blood be on us and on our children”, paid a great price of self-condemnation, so all who willfully rise up against the Messiah and spurn his grace must face disaster.  Make me humble and contrite in my daily life, deeply and personally appreciative of Yeshua’s death for my deliverance, and though I bear the cross of affliction now, let me wear the crown of victory in the coming Kingdom when I reign with Messiah in glory.  I ask these things according to Your promises.  Omein.

©Concordia Theological Seminary, 1950