Menachem Bluming Muses: Does Prayer Work?

Many see prayer as a wish list. It’s as if G-d is some supernal vending machine, and prayers are the currency you drop into the slot to get what you want. If that were the case, this vending machine needs repair.

But that’s not what prayer is. Prayer is a practice of gratitude and humility. We give thanks for what we have received, and humbly ask for what we need. We recognize that all we have is a gift, and whatever we lack can only be fulfilled by G-d, the source of all. He may give us what we ask, or He may not. We know that from the start.

A person of faith knows that nothing is random, nothing is meaningless, and ultimately G-d is in control. This doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. Prayer gives perspective to know that there is a bigger picture, strength to know that even hard times can have hidden blessings, and humility to know that we can’t control what happens, only how we react to it.

I would call that a prayer that works.

Mendel (Menachem) Bluming and Rabbi Moss and other sources

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