People have a weird notion that if their prayers are not answered right away, then either Hashem doesn't hear them or the prayers are ignored, Heaven forbid. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not a single syllable goes to waste. Imagine that there's a sky full of transmitters that record every word you say and broadcast them to the Heavenly Throne. But, more thasn you can possibly fathom in your mind, Hashem hears everything, everywhere - He personally and with no static. Just as you don't jump everytime your seven-year-old asks for something, Hashem doesn't necessarily grant our requests on the spot. Remember - Rebbe Natan says that wherever you see deficiency, you'll find insufficient prayer.
Everything we ask for is like an item in a store with a price tag. Our prayers are the currency we use to purchase Divine abundance, both material and spiritual. So, if your request has not yet been fulfilled, it means that you haven't yet paid the whole price. Don't be discouraged - keep praying and you'll see big salvations. I guarantee you that Hashem not only is listening to you, but He loves to listen to you.
You've finally circumvented the Yetzer (evil inclination), and now you're all set for a beautiful hour of Hisbodedus (personal prayer - speaking to Hashem in your own words - alone - with no one else around). You take a walk in the park, out in the field, or down by the river, you open your mouth - wanting to pour your heart out to Hashem - and nothing comes out! How frustrating! What a letdown.
Don't fret; here's what to do when the words don't come - sing a niggun! A niggun (melody) uplifts the soul, puts wings on your heart, and breaks the grip of the vise that the Yetzer has clamped on your mouth (the last thing he wants you to do is to talk to Hashem!). After singing a niggun for a few warm-up minutes, the words of personal prayer and love for Hashem will flow forth like a fountain.
When I have this problem, I take a flute and start playing whatever comes to me wherever I am in our beautiful homeland. Then, the right words flow forth. That's how Calming Waters, Judean Dream and Whispering Soul came into being. King David used to do the same thing. Have a wonderful day, and may you always have a song of the Land of Israel on your heart!
Sometimes, you go out to the field - yearning to speak to Hashem - but the words don't come. On one such occasion, when I was all choked up, I took my little shepherd's flute and began to play. Hashem in His infinite mercy gave me the gift of the following melody, which unclogged the heart, released the tears, and enabled the words to flow forth. I call this melody, "Whispering Soul" - with all the noise in the world, we need daily time to be alone with Hashem and to listen to the faint but sublime message of our soul, which yearns to be heard.
Have a wonderful weekend and whatever you do, drive carefully. Don't forget to say The Traveler's Prayer (Tefilat_haderech) when you're out on the road. Don't ever think that you're alone, because Hashem is right there with you. He cares so very much about you, and so do we.
a loving and compassionate Father in Heaven. He wants to give us
every form of abundance, but he can't pour fine wine on the floor and
waste it. We must prepare a suitable receptacle to receive Divine
abundance. That receptacle is prayer.
erroneously believes that Hashem doesn't want to give him something
is a heretic. Hashem's greatest pleasure is to give us abundance.
But, we must be able to receive His abundance.
complain that they lack things in life. Rebbe Natan said, "Wherever
I see deficiency, I see lack of prayer." There are no instant
remedies. There are no rabbit's-feet solutions for unemployment, a
lack of a soulmate, childlessness or any other deficiency. The only
solution is to turn to Hashem in prayer - the more the better. Many
people don't like that answer, but it's the only true answer.
answer all your prayers for the very best. Don't ever give up. Prayer
is the best gift we have. And, Hashem always listens.
A group of mighty Watusi hunters were walking home to their village at the end of the day's hunt. They reached a narrow clearing, but there path was blocked by a big truck. The chief said to his ten fellow tribesman, "Come, let's push this iron elephant out of our way." They pushed and pushed, but the truck barely budged.
Suddenly, a European-looking man in a safari suit emerged from the jungle. He saw the Watusis trying to push his truck out of their way, and offered in perfect Watusi dialect, "Excuse me, gentleman; I'll be happy to move the truck out of your way. In fact, it will be my privilege to give you a lift back to your village."
The chief and his tribesman were flabbergasted. Not only did they refuse to believe that the frail-looking European could succeed in moving an iron elephant on his own, but to carry them back to their village, all eleven of them? He must be deranged, they thought.
The European produced a key chain from his pocket, and waved it before the the chief's nose. "With the aid of this modest key, I shall move the truck and carry you home!"
"Labumba!", said the Watusis to each other, spinning their forefingers around their foreheads, indicating that the stranger was a fool.
The European unlocked the door to the truck, climbed aboard, put the key in the ignition, turned the switch, stepped on the gas, and VARROOOOOMM! Scared out of their wits from the roar of the 425-horsepower Detroit engine, the Watusis scattered in eleven different directions, mostly up. Now, watching from the treetops, they saw the iron elephant cruise merrily away, with no one even pushing...
To this day, the watusi chief is still scratching his head: "How could a little key move an iron elephant, when eleven mighty Watusis could not?"
Most of us aren't much smarter than the Watusis. We think that we can accomplish something only by physical means. Oftentimes we push for something and knock our brains out, yet we achieve minor results, that is, if we don't do damage to ourselves first. It takes tons of explosives to penetrate a reinforced enemy bunker, but if you have a key, you can peacefully walk right in the front door. Oh yes, we all have a general belief that there's a G-d in heaven who runs the show, but few of us really believe in the power of prayer - that Hashem really listens to us. Otherwise, we'd be putting a lot more effort into sincere prayer and spirituality.
Prayer is the tiny little ignition key that can move the iron elephant where the mighty hunters could not.
With all the problems left over from 5773, and staring us in the face from the outset of 5774, it's about time we learned to pray. Rosh Hashana is the best time to start. By the way, it's hard to push a stubborn elephant...
May you and yours be inscribed in the Book of Life for a wonderful New Year 5774, amen!