April 30, 2014

60 Days of Growth – Talk To God (Day 2)

Young businessman with a megaphone, Business conceptFor the first few posts I am going to try and write about things that we should try and integrate into our daily lives, as opposed to specific items to try and accomplish on that day. Today, I want to talk about talking to God, or prayer. No, I am not talking about going into shul (synagogue) or getting out a siddur (prayer book) and saying words that were written down by prophets, rabbis and Jewish leaders over the past few thousand years (although, it wouldn’t hurt ;-) ). What I am talking about is just talking to God. Taking a few seconds out of your day and saying thank you, or please, spending a second to recognize that He is looking out for you and when you make that green light when you’re in a rush or when you get the last jalapeño cheese bagel in Coffee Bean you should give Him a shout-out and say thanks. When you really need something, or really appreciate something, or just need to get something off your chest, He is listening, just say the word. I find myself constantly engaged in a conversation with God, asking for the smallest things, and thanking Him when little things work out. If we open up our lives to God and involve Him in our seemingly insignificant day-to-day actions, He will be more involved and we will be more aware of it.

Talking to God is actually a mitzvah (instruction, direction or commandment) straight from the Torah, in Shemot (Exodus 23:25) the Torah tells us: “וַעֲבַדְתֶּם, אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם – and you should serve God purposefully” which the Rambam elucidates for us: “מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְהִתְפַּלַּל בְּכָל יוֹם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר “וַעֲבַדְתֶּם, אֵת ה’ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם” (שמות כג,כה): מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁעֲבוֹדָה זוֹ–הִיא תְּפִלָּה, וְנֶאֱמָר “וּלְעָבְדוֹ, בְּכָל-לְבַבְכֶם” (דברים יא,יג); אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים, אֵיזוֹ הִיא עֲבוֹדָה שֶׁבַּלֵּב, זוֹ הִיא תְּפִלָּה. וְאֵין מִנְיַן הַתְּפִלּוֹת מִן הַתּוֹרָה, וְלֹא מִשְׁנֵה הַתְּפִלָּה הַזֹּאת מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וְאֵין לַתְּפִלָּה זְמָן קָבוּעַ מִן הַתּוֹרָה – We are instructed to speak to God everyday, like the Torah says ‘and you should serve God purposefully’. God himself explained this to mean speaking to Him. An additional hint to this explanation is: as it says ‘serve Him purposefully with all your heart’ the Wise Men explain this as follows, which service is service of the heart? Pouring out your heart to God, or speaking to Him! There is no set text for this speaking from the Torah and no set time” Additionally, the Ramban explains further that any time one is in a situation of need, he is instructed to speak to God…

So give it a try, today, and everyday for the next 60 days, when you need something, or get something, give the Big Man a shout-out!