Our Prayers Are the Key

Yael Eckstein  |  August 15, 2023

Yael praying at the Western Wall

Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them. — Exodus 39:43

Prayer in Judaism is defined as “the work of the heart,” which profoundly changes the nature of prayer from one of entreating God to an act that transforms who we are—not what God does. These devotions focus on different facets of prayer and what lessons we can learn about the power of our prayers.

In the book of Exodus, God commanded Israel to build the Tabernacle so that He could grace His people with His presence: “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them” (25:8).When the job was done, Scripture tells us, “Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them.”

The Jewish sages explain that the words of Moses’ blessing are from Psalm 90, a psalm prefaced with “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” Specifically, they say Moses blessed Israel with the last verse: “May the favor of the LORD our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands” (v.17).

Now that the people of Israel had completed building the Tabernacle, Moses was asking for God’s presence to dwell among them.

But why was it necessary for Moses to pray for something that God had already committed to? Think about it. The boss gave an assignment, and the workers did the job. Imagine how absurd it would be if we had to approach our bosses at the end of each month and ask for our paychecks!

Our Prayers Are the Key

Back in Genesis 2, Scripture tells us that although God created everything except for man by day six of creation, there was not any rain or vegetation. The sages explain that God wanted man to pray for the rain; only after Adam was created and asked God for sustenance did the Garden of Eden blossom.

These stories teach us that even when something is promised to us, we still have to pray for God’s promises. God has a locked treasure chest of jewels with our names on it, but our prayers are the keys that will bring these blessings into the world.

Despite the fact that God promised Israel that He would dwell among them, Moses needed to bless the people that God’s promise would be fulfilled.

Your Turn:

Which of God’s promises to you do you need to pray for today? Spend a few minutes praying that God will bless you with all the promises that are destined to be yours in this world.