Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use


Should You Pray to Win the Lotto?

can you pray to win the lottery?

The $550 million Powerball Lottery  has people lining up in gas stations and conveniences stores across America. It also has a few people turning to the heavens to ask God to bless them with good luck.

Is this type of prayer legitimate? Does God listen to such kinds of requests?

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

In Judaism, we would generally say no. Prayer is not as much about asking God for things, as it is about asking God for the strength to do the right thing.

Just as mission statements highlight the purpose and values of an organization, prayer proclaims the principles and vision of our faith.It seeks to cultivate in us values like gratitude or service to others that our secular society does not reinforce.
When we come to pray in a church or synagogue, we seek to look at our lives from an elevated perspective, from what philosopher Baruch Spinoza called the point of view of eternity. To use a familiar metaphor, prayer lifts us out of the trees so we can look at the forest.

Emotional Rescue

Prayer also helps us express feelings that everyday words cannot. When I officiate at a funeral, I always notice the mourners during the recitation of the 23rd psalm. As we say the words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me,” faces turn downward. Tears often begin to flow. The words of prayer evoke emotions that ordinary language cannot.

At its best, prayer can be like listening to an i-pod. An i-pod connects us with an entire digital music library. Prayer connects us with the entire spiritual, emotional and intellectual library of our faith. 

Dancing to God’s Beat

can we pray to win the lotteryWhen we pray with resolve, feeling the words shaping us, we are dancing. We are moving to the words of our God. Do we really need to dance to these words? Can they really make difference in our lives?

Well, as one rabbi put it, “Neither the computer nor the cellular phone has changed the fact of mortality or the want of wisdom.” In an age of high technology, we need to be reminded of what truly matters. Prayer is that reminder.

It reminds us that our lives are measured by holiness. They are not measured by the political points we score.They are not measured by an uptick in the polls. They are not measured by the promise of $550 million. They are measured by the heart and spirit God gave us.

By Evan Moffic

Grow Spiritually. Inspire Yourself. Live a More Meaningful Life.

Get More from Rabbi Moffic   http://bit.ly/U6pA1G

 



Previous Posts

God Never Gives Up Hope: A Prayer for Israel
 I remember my first visit to Israel in 1994. The Oslo Accords had just been signed. Hope reigned. My group was greeted warmly in the Arab market in Jerusalem. The opposite feelings prevail today. We witness bombings, indiscriminate hatred, vitriol. Dozens of my friends who are there now share w

posted 10:19:40pm Jul. 13, 2014 | read full post »

The Secret to Happiness? Let Life Surprise You
I remember sitting one day with my  three-year-old daughter. She had a book in her and was turning the pages and telling the story. This was her regular habit. She could not yet read the words, but she could tell the story based on the pictures. I had one ear listening to her voice and the ot

posted 4:23:22pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Do Christians Need to Learn More About Judaism? A Rabbi Responds to the Pope
In the 1970s Alex Haley wrote the best-seller Roots. He sought to find the roots of his life as an African-American. Where did he come from? What experiences shaped who he was?   We all ask these questions. We seek not only geographic roots and ethnic roots. We look for spiritual roots. Where

posted 9:50:26pm Jul. 06, 2014 | read full post »

Why Do Jews Care So Much About Israel?
Last year I attended the Irish Fest in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The music and ambience make it one of most unforgettable days of the year. Listening to a concert, I struck up a conversation with someone standing next to me. I told him I was a rabbi, and once we got past the usual

posted 1:40:08pm Jun. 22, 2014 | read full post »

In the Wake of the Kansas City Horror: The Life-Saving Power of Interfaith Conversation
This post was written with my friend and colleague, Reverend Lillian Daniel.  The late great Abraham Joshua Heschel was once asked why he devoted so much time to interfaith dialogue. He answering by recounting part of his family history. “When the Nazis came for my parents,” he wrote,

posted 1:56:25pm Apr. 16, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.