Rabbi Stan has been hitting prayer as a theme hard for the past several weeks. His main point is that people don’t often really pray to G-d… they pray at him. In other words, they treat G-d like the person from whom they get their professional business cards, rather than someone they are in relationship with. As someone you make requests, even demands of, without really listening to beyond that immediate need.
What does that mean?
How many folks who pray, stop when they run out of things to say or ask for? I’d wager that’s most of us.
The more important skill is allowing haShem time to respond back. Now, rarely is it a burning bush or a disembodied voice… you have to go to Torah for that. But G-d does respond, when we take the time to listen.
It’s a message that has challenged me. One I need to take to heart if I’m serious about pursuing these advanced studies classes with ordination as a possible goal. Stan’s idea is a good one… pray for at least an hour a day, and if you use 45 minutes of that time praising haShem and laying out your cares and concerns, is it asking too much to be quiet for the last 15 minutes or so and let G-d get a word in edgewise, with a response?