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 of Breslev 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.
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.
Overseas, it's holiday season and the roads are jammed; whatever you do, drive carefully. Don't forget to say The Traveler's Prayer (Tefilat_haderech) when you begin your journey, whether by car, bus, train, boat or plane. 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.
Weekday Chanuka prayers at the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem are 3 hours long; Hallel itself takes an entire hour and a half. It's a joyous prayer with musical accompaniment and dancing, where we thank and praise Hashem profusely. Here's what Hallel looks like (this past Thursday morning) with Chut Shel Chessed's Rosh Yeshiva and my beloved rabbi and teacher Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a. Happy Chanuka!
Tonight (Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015) is the first night of Chanuka. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches us that Chanukah is a special time to express our gratitude to Hashem. With that in mind, let's take 60 seconds to say Psalm 100 together, here, in a most special place where I love to go for my solitary personal prayer sessions, on Israel's golden beach not far from my home in the south side of Ashdod:
You don't need WiFi to connect to Hashem, nor do you need a smartphone. He's right there with you wherever you are - He not only understands your language, but He understands your accent and your local slang too. One of the biggest disappointments in the afterlife is when you find out how close you really were to Hashem and that you could have spoken to Him whenever you wanted to. Don't miss the opportunity while you're still here...
We're all aware of the dangers that the people of Israel face. Rav Shalom Arush told us to turn to Hashem with more emuna and prayer, for there's no other solution than raising our voice to Heaven.
One of the greatest of our Tannaim (Mishnaic sages, 1st - 2nd Century CE) was Rebbe Eliezer the son of Horkonus, or Eliezer the Great. Rebbe Eliezer promises: "Anyone who engrosses himself in Pereq Shira every day - I bear witness that he is destined for the World-to-Come, and is delivered from calamity, and from the Evil Inclination, and from severe judgment, and from the Satan, and from all types of evil and destruction..." (introduction, Perek Shira).
What could be a better signed check than being delivered from all calamity, Evil Inclination, and destruction? Who can give you a better life and homeowner's policy for 10-12 minutes a day?
Emuna Outreach and the Beams are pleased to take away anybody's excuse that they don't have Perek Shira; here are our free downloads, which also include the Tikkun Klali: