In Forest Fields, Part 7
By speaking to Hashem for an hour a day every single day, we earn another benefit – we become accustomed to speaking to Hashem about everything! When we seek Hashem’s advice about everything we do, when we thank Him, and when we share our innermost thoughts with Him, then we are living our lives with Hashem.
Five words summarize one’s situation in the world: Without prayer is without Hashem. Let’s be positive, for the opposite is also true: With prayer is with Hashem. Anything a person does with prayer means being together with Hashem. When you pray, Hashem is with you. When you don’t, you’re stuck with yourself, including your subjectivity, your ego, and your habits – all of which cloud the truth and prevent you from making the right decisions. But, when you do everything with Hashem – including prayer in every step of life’s way – life becomes so much sweeter and easier. Why rely on our sorely limited resources when we can take advantage of Hashem’s limitless knowledge and power? When we put our trust in Hashem, Hashem mobilizes all of creation to come to our aid.
It’s so simple to speak to Hashem. All we have to do is open our mouths in our own words before everything we do. The way to succeed is to speak to Hashem before everything we do, every step of the way.
For example, before one eats, he or she can speak to Hashem in the following manner: “Master of the World, thank You for the food you give me. Please help me eat with holiness and with moderation. Help me say the blessings before and after the meal with proper intent. May the food I eat be beneficial to my body and conducive to good health. Help me avoid overeating. May the spiritual essence of this meal revitalize my soul, and give me the energy to seek You more and more…” You’ll be amazed at how a few short sentences of personal prayer dramatically alter the dimension of whatever you do. In the example at hand, a short personal prayer uplifts a mundane meal to the level of an act of Divine service.
Short personal prayers do wonders for marital bliss. Imagine that you’re just now coming home from a trying day at work. Stop for a moment, and before you walk in the front door, say a few words to Hashem, like this: “Master of the World, help me have a peaceful relationship with my wife. Open my heart so I’ll understand her, and grant me the patience to listen intently to whatever she has to say and to give her the attention she needs. May there always be love and understanding between us. Please help me have a home of peace, Hashem…”
When a person comes home without Hashem, he might need to come home with a policeman instead. Those who rely on their own abilities and aptitudes stand few chances of success, especially in marriage. But, when one comes home with prayer on his lips, he’s bringing Hashem into his household. The result is a home of peace and understanding.
Apply this ploy of a brief personal prayer to everything you do. Personal prayer that precedes any act is a guarantee of enhanced success. Whether you have a meeting at the bank, or you’re getting in the car to drive home at rush hour, or helping one of the children with his homework, personal prayer invokes the type of constant Divine Providence that will accompany you and pave the way for whatever you’re doing.
Speaking to Hashem is an expression of our emuna. One who truly believes, speaks to Hashem. Weak emuna is manifest by a low motivation for prayer, especially personal prayer.
King David said (Psalm 121:5), “Hashem is the shadow by your right side,” in other words, Hashem is always with us. Just as one’s shadow never leaves him, Hashem never leaves us. With every breath we take, Hashem is there with us. But, just as Hashem is with us, we should be with Hashem, speaking to Him constantly, thanking Him, and taking His advice.
To be continued.