Filtering the Deep
The caverns of the heart can reveal how to pray. Prayer is not solely a time to ask for things. Tefillah prayer begins with self examination. People deliberately search their inner hearts to determine if they measure up to godly standards. If we have trifled with the truth or turned a deaf ear to the cries of the poor, a few moments spent in prayerful introspection will reveal it.
Through self assessment, we discover faults, needs, and desires, and ponder why God would grant our requests. Inner scrutiny is humbling. We are painfully aware that we don’t deserve divine blessings and favors.
But, this is the kind of prayer our Rabbi Yeshua commends. In one of the kingdom parables, He describes a tax collector who goes to the Temple to pray. The tax collector cannot lift his eyes, but only beat his chest saying, “God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!” The man’s words flow from his self examination. After acknowledging what he sees in the caverns of his heart and seeking forgiveness for it, he leaves the Temple justified.
Paul also urges soul-searching. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living the life of trust. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
On another level, tefillah prayer means attachment. Our inner search leads to a stronger bond with the Almighty, and a taste of His infinite goodness and mercy.
Published February 21, 2017