You may ask: “How do we invite encounters with the Presence of God into our life?
Is there a way we can hold on to these experiences? How can we retain some of that ineffable peace, that strength and joy that countless people have been blessed with?”
In our times, many are tempted to use drugs. It would be wonderful if it would work. Unfortunately, many thousands have learned from bitter experience that drugs have a way of diminishing our inner strength, our will power and free choice. Many other people have been brain damaged in the long run. In other words, these artificial means have a way to enslave us, robbing us of two of our most precious assets. One is our free will. We come to feel emotionally helpless without these drugs, believing they are the only way we can deal with our anxieties and low moods. Second, they wreak damage and chaos into our most extraordinary, unique, miraculous gift – our brain.
In our spiritual search there are much better ways available to us. For one thing, we can choose to join with others who are on the same soul quest. Our world is blessed with many high souls, men and women, people gifted with depths of awareness, higher vision, integrity and kindness. They may be simple men or women, teachers, mentors, counselors, dedicated Rabbis, housewives, or engaged in any profession. We may not know any of them but when we pray for guidance and choose to be open to receive, the right people can appear on our path and make our search easier.
As you talk with them they will immediately recognize your inner yearning, which is theirs also. They will help you, because they are treading a little ahead of you on their spiritual journey. They will reach out to you with compassion, and certainly seek to encourage you with insightful and practical guidance. Chances are, just by watching them, you will be able to trust in your own ability to connect with this Eternal, Loving Presence. We learn by osmosis. As you sit in their company, you may feel a wondrous sense of being cherished, protected, and guided. Their example shows you how to pay attention to your own inner knowing and grow in strength, love and joy, through prayer, through soulful study and through acts of kindness. Even if you cannot always understand their vision of what is true for them, there is great benefit in their company.
Many centuries ago, the Romans occupying the Holy Land ravaged our entire nation. They burned our center of worship, the Holy Temple, and they systematically sought to destroy our spiritual strength. In those dark times some of our sages and spiritual masters met together. They realized we were going to be scattered in all corners of the world in all kinds of cultures and oppressive religions and belief systems. They knew this would last for many centuries.
In order that we may remain true to our unique destiny, they wisely designed a certain order of prayers to be recited every day, as well as others composed especially for our Holy days. These prayers were gathered over time and faithfully recorded in our sacred writings. Ever since then, they have been our most enduring guidance and source of strength. In every generation for the past many centuries, these sacred words have been the keys that opened the doors to higher inspiration, wisdom, joy and inner comfort. Millions have been pouring their heart and soul over these words, empowering them through their devotion and intense connection with the supreme Master of Creation.
These blessed words found in our prayer books are our invisible, powerful, universal spiritual link with the entire people of Israel. Through our scattered wanderings, we have communed with each other on a soul level across countries and continents, from generation to generation, from one culture to another. This order of prayers has been our common bond with each other, our secret communication between our many racial, cultural and personality backgrounds. This is the foundation that has been identifying and uniting us as one people.
Sacred words of prayers are positive, empowering and life affirming, connecting us to the divine Presence in all its many aspects of perfection, harmony, beauty and grace. In times of joy as well as fear and chaos, in times of celebrations as well as great need, these shining words continually reconnect us to the Master of the Universe, the eternal life-sustaining Giver, our true source of strength and calm, harmony and inner bliss. As we commune with these words, we can recapture some of our lost soul memory and again receive glimpses of those privileged moments of life- giving expansiveness.
We have no concept how powerful our deeply focused, heartfelt words of prayer can be. When we learn to be in a state of profound quietness, prayer can change every aspect of our life, transforming the way we feel and the way others feel towards us. Prayer opens the way for the flow of blessings of inner strength, confidence, depths of love and peace. Prayer heals and creates miracles. Prayer uplifts and liberates us from worry and anxiety, opening the gates of higher knowledge, connecting us with the Infinite Presence of all Good. Prayer comforts and revitalizes, bringing our awareness back to our true identity as children of the Supreme Almighty One, who sustains all life with love.