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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


VaEtchanan 45-1

And I begged

Deuteronomy 3:23 4:4

At that time I pleaded with the LORD : "O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan that fine hill country and Lebanon."

Deut. 3:23-25 NIV

How to pray correctly?

Moshe Rabbenu's prayer teaches us how to pray correctly. Instead of placing himself in the centre, he lifts the Eternal up and thanks him for all the goodness He had shown. The motivation behind his prayer was that the Eternal was honoured and praised. This is the foundation of any successful  prayer. One who seeks the Eternal's interest has a correct attitude to be able to receive an answer to his prayers. He will even be content with a "no" for an answer from the Eternal, knowing that it is for the better. After this "no", Moshe never asked again to cross the Yarden. He didn't seek his own interests but the Eternal's.

The one who seeks his own pleasure, prays only that his own will be done on earth, not the Eternal's. A person like this will not be satisfied with a "no" for an answer. Even though the Eternal says "no" he'll keep insisting once and again until he gets what he wants. The Eternal may give in to the pressure of the person who prays and give him what he wishes for. However, if the motivation of the one who prays is not correct whatever he receives from the Eternal will not always be for good, but maybe a trap and certainly not helpful for getting closer to the Eternal.

The one who wants to follow his own path can certainly do so, but he will have to suffer the consequences of his selfishness. The Eternal doesn't force anyone to follow and love Him. He wants honest love from people who seek His interests instead of their own.

Let's follow the Example of Moshe our teacher. Let's praise and exalt the Eternal in our prayers first and let's ask Him that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Shavua tov,

Ketriel


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