Shalom my brother and sister in Messiah
Many of us are facing physical, financial or emotional crisis in our lives and the adversary has been successful in causing us to be depressed and feel defeated. Even if we understand in our head what emuna really is, we have not taken this knowledge to heart.
Emuna is the understanding that Yahweh is in total charge of everything that happens in our lives and that whatever we are facing is for our best. The Father always knows what is best for us in moving closer to His presence. Each challenge is to strengthen us spiritually and cause us to understand that we must rely upon Yahweh in all areas of our lives. This emuna leads us to understand the need for personal prayer. Only by dedicated and persistent personal prayer can a person obtain the necessary wisdom and blessings from Yahweh. All throughout the Scriptures we are told that Yahweh desires to give us everything we need to dwell in peace and harmony with both Yahweh and our fellow Believer. That peace requires us to walk in health and financial stability.
Over the next few days, I would like for us to look at the importance of a dedicated hour of personal prayer each day. The Hebrew word for such an hour is “hitbodedut”. We will examine the teaching of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev and his student Rabbi Shalom Arush from the translation into English by Rabbi Laser Brody of Rabbi Arush’s book “In Forest Fields”. For deeper study of this subject I would encourage each of you to secure a personal copy of the book and read it extensively.
We need to come to the realization that our personal situation is the result of our relationship with Yahweh and His assistance in helping us to become the person we should be to best serve Him. Each of us has some personal weaknesses and traits that are keeping us from moving into the presence of His holy place. Only through prayer can we become strong and address the bad habits and traits in our lives. By taking time each day to do teshuva and seek the help and guidance of Yahweh can we continue to grow spiritually.
Let’s begin by looking at the need to daily seek purification in our lives.
The one true purpose in our lives is to make everything we do serve the Master of the Universe. Prayer is the key to both our personal redemption and to the collective redemption of the all of Israel. In Hebrew, the letters that spell “Moshiach” are the same letters that spell “Mesiach”, meaning “one who converses”. Remember that Yochanan tells us that Yahshua is “The Word”. Words are used to converse with each other. We communicate with Yahweh through personal prayer. We need to understand that “redemption” is synonymous with “prayer”.
Hitbodedut is a prime indication of emuna. One who believes in Yahweh will speak to Yahweh and vice versa. (In Forest Fields, p-30) The classic book of Jewish ethics “Duties of the Heart” says that one can trust only in Yahweh, for only Yahweh can fulfill the seven conditions of trust, as follows:
1. Yahweh has compassion on you;
2. Yahweh doesn’t ignore your needs, nor does His constant Divine Providence ever neglect you;
3. He is strong and invincible, and no one can stop Him from fulfilling your request;
4. He knows all your needs, even the ones that you are not aware of;
5. His Divine Providence never leaves you; from your first day on earth through your last day, He is with you.
6. He alone determines your fate, and no one other than Yahweh can help you or hurt you.
7. His generosity and loving-kindness knows no bounds, both for the deserving and for the undeserving. (In Forest Fields p 31)
This is just how simple it is. The Creator made you and is with you all the time. Any time you feel the need to talk to Him, He is near. He listens and heeds every word you say. Just by taking time to talk to Yahweh in your own words is a real declaration of faith that surpasses all logic, intellectual arguments, proofs, and explanations.
This weekend I took time to watch several sessions of the majesty of the universe in what we call outer space of our solar system and beyond. The scientists on the programs kept emphasizing the many unknowns as to why such power and beauty exists. They are trying to understand how it all came to be and what power keeps it in control. With everything moving and releasing unbelievable surges of power, how does it not create chaos? I kept trying to tell them to read the Torah for all the answers to their questions.
Just as this immense universe remains under the absolute control of its Creator, so does your life. He truly holds you in the palm of His hand. His desire is that each of us become pure according to His instructions in order that we might be able to walk with Him in the cool of the evening. He wants you ever near Him so that you and He can communicate regarding your every need and care.
I encourage you to begin to spend an hour each day talking with Yahweh. Be aware that the adversary does not want that to happen so you will have to ask Yahweh to give you the strength to make that hour happen. Through that hour of personal communication with Yahweh, you can change every aspect of your life because He hears and answers our prayers.
May Yahweh be blessed by your life and your relationship with His people, Israel.