It is hard to believe it but another year has come and gone. We are just a few days away from Rosh Hashanah. For many of us, a major part of Rosh Hashanah will include attending services and prayers.
Alas, this presents one small problem. The truth is that most people don’t like praying! People are either put off by the whole idea of God ‘needing’ our prayers, or find the prayers uninteresting (boring!).
People being turned off by God’s perceived need to hear our prayers is unfortunate. God, who is Omnipotent, does not need our prayers. We need our prayers. We need prayers of thanks to demonstrate we are appreciative people. We need prayers of hope to demonstrate we are hopeful people. We need to know that regardless of how hopeless a situation may appear, our Father in Heaven can intercede on our behalf. As the Talmud (Brachot 10b) says, “even when you feel the sword on your neck, it is never too late to pray”. We need the daily prayers, particularly the Amidah, as that tells us what we should be praying for. We certainly need our prayers during the High Holiday Season, when we have so much to pray for.
In a nutshell, most people view prayer as trying to ‘change God’. The truth is prayer should be about changing us, changing who we are and perhaps thereby changing how we relate to God and how God relates to us.