Prayer: Expression of the Soul
In the previous Limmud study on prayer, we learned about the Jewish perspective of prayer as the “work of the heart.” Prayer is the great change agent — not that we pray for God to change His mind; but in praying, our minds and desires will change and conform to God’s will.
In this study, we will explore prayer and its centrality to the Jewish worship service, tracing the evolution of liturgical prayer from the first collection of prayers, known now as the book of Psalms, to the Shema, the Jewish mission statement for life, to the Amidah, the most important Jewish prayer dating back to the fourth century BCE, which observant Jews today recite three times a day.
In addition, the study will explore how this key Jewish prayer possibly served as the basis for the prayer Jesus as a rabbi taught his followers, the Lord’s Prayer. Finally, the study will look at the “garments of prayers,” and their significance in preparing ourselves – heart, body, and soul — to engage in this most ancient and revered practice.