Yael's Holy Land Reflections
Turning to God - In Good Times and Bad
June 2, 2020
Years ago, I went to the Western Wall in Jerusalem to pray. I prayed to God with all my heart for a child a healthy, beautiful baby. Less than a year later, I returned to the very same place, but this time with my eldest daughter in my arms, a huge smile on my face, and prayers of thanksgiving on my lips. My daughter’s name is Chana, Hannah, and like Hannah of the Bible, her essence is prayer.
This experience has always stayed with me. It reminds me of the power of prayer.
God Hears Our Prayers
There are times in life when it can feel like we’ve reached a dead end. There are people who want to get married but they haven’t been able to find the right person. People who want to have children but they are still waiting. People who are sick and doctors say that they can’t be healed. Here in Israel, we live from war to war with no end in sight to the constant attacks. And of course prayer has taken on special meaning for all of us during these extraordinary times, when people are facing the harsh realities of a deadly virus, of economic devastation, of isolation and loneliness.
As people of faith, we are to offer prayers to God at all times, both good and bad. But it is at times of trial and challenge like this when we remember the power of prayer and instinctively turn to God. We’re able to get through all kinds of challenges because of prayer - and by the knowledge that God hears our prayers.
The Faith of a Child
Children know this, and this is one reason why I love watching my kids pray. They have complete trust that God is listening to every single word they say. They have no doubt that their prayers will be answered in one way or another.
As a child, I too was taught that God hears our prayers. And one of my most important life goals is to never grow out of that belief. Even as I encounter difficulties in life problems that don’t go away after my first prayer or 100th prayer I work to maintain the faith that God is listening. He hears me and He cares. I know this in my head, and I always want to feel it in my heart.
The Talmud, Judaism’s oral tradition, teaches that: “Prayer is one of the highest deeds in the world, but people underestimate it.” In other words, praying to God is one of the most powerful things that we can do in order to influence our lives and the world around us. But we don’t always feel that way. When we truly and deeply know that God is right here, next to us, with us, listening to every word, we take every opportunity to pray. It is our response to every situation. And we never give up on our prayers.
Let Us Pray for You
Doctors are important, but they aren’t God. Economics are important, but the bank statement isn’t God. In our society there are those who doubt the power of prayer, but the naysayers aren’t God either. Only God is God, and He can turn anything around. When we pray with full trust and faith in Him, our prayers are extremely powerful.
My dear friends, as we turn to God in these uncertain times, I hope you will you let us pray for you. We are always concerned about your health and well-being, and it is both our pleasure and privilege to cover you in prayer. You can submit your prayer here. May we continue praying, in good times and bad, and may God hear all of our prayers and answer them for the very best. Amen!
With blessings from the Holy Land,