Jews, like other people of faith, pray in many different ways.
- They pray so that their hearts can reach out to God
- They pray to express and exercise their beliefs
- They pray to share in the life of a worshipping community
- They pray to obey God’s commandments.
* How to Pray
The important things about prayer are:
- You should do it with total concentration on God—there should be nothing else in your mind
- The prayer should be completely from the heart.
* Three Times a Day
Jews are supposed to pray three times a day; morning, afternoon, and evening.
The Jewish prayer book (it's called a siddur) has special services set down for this.
Praying regularly enables a person to get better at building their relationship with God. After all, most things get better with practice.
* Three Ways to Pray…and There’s More!
There are three different sorts of prayer, and Jewish people use all of them.
These are prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of praise, and prayers that ask for things.
Jews believe that God will take action in response to prayer, and a teaching from the rabbis tells us that the more we ask God to help us, the more God will love us.
(Midrash Tehillim 4:3)
But prayer doesn't just do the things that the words say it does—thanking, praising, requesting.
- Prayer changes our faith, and it changes us too
- Praying with heart and mind and soul takes a person into a state of being that is different from their everyday awareness
- Prayer enhances a person's closeness to God
- Prayer enhances a person's closeness to their fellow Jews
- The formal prayer in the synagogue provides a weekly (if not daily) revision class in the fundamentals of Jewish belief
--- Helping Jews to remember what they believe
--- Helping Jews find new insights into their relationship with God and with each other.