What is your relationship with prayer?

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What is your relationship with prayer?

By Adina Morris

Prayer and I met many years ago. It was more of a one way kind of relationship. I took out my Siddur prop and dutifully followed along inside as was instructed. It was always there beside me, but never really inside me.

As the years went on, our relationship grew and developed into a two way communication that would wax and wane over time.

I learned the meaning behind the sometimes enigmatic prose, and as I matured, so did our relationship. I began adding in my own prayers that would bubble up from the depths of my heart. Prayer became a place of solace when times were rough and tough. It became my go to when I wanted to celebrate and when I wanted to cry. It became my safe homecoming to share and unburden my soul. Prayer became part of me.

I loved my times of prayer, they became integral to my everyday.

As life went on, my time no longer belonged just to me. I had new responsibilities and little people to care for. I learned that my prayers were still so important, maybe even more important now than ever, but that I would be required to keep them more short and to the point. I could not spend as much time as I used to, or wanted to.

It was my first Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur after our oldest child was born. I felt a nervousness that I had not felt the previous year. I had hired help so that I could attend Synaogue. Here I was about to have uninterrupted time of prayer on one of the most auspicious days of the year. There was so much to be thankful for, to ask for, to unburden. Why was I so nervous?

It occurred to me that I hadn’t been the best friend in our relationship that year. My prayer became hurried and sparse. Yet I had so much to say! How could I come before Hashem now on Rosh Hashana as if we never parted and assume that our relationship was the same? So I was nervous, to say the least. Would my prayer be meaningful, could I truly open up our two way communication like it had been? Would my prayer be accepted?

That first morning of Rosh Hashana I received my answer. It is kind of like meeting an old dear friend that you were so close to, but time, distance and other responsibilities had kept you apart. Then you have the moment of reunification, and it is as if you never left. You pick up right where you left off. My relationship with prayer never really went away, it was still inside of me, waiting to be reunited, waiting for me to initiate.

As time went on, my attendance in Synagogue waxed and waned depending on which child was home, how old they were and what they could manage in a public place of prayer. Through it all, I made a commitment that year, to not let my relationship with prayer be that once in a blue moon catch up with an old friend. I worked hard everyday to keep the connection close, even with small bits here and there, but never letting the thread disappear again.

As our children continue to grow, I of late have found my relationship with prayer not only intensify with meaning and connection, as there is so much to say each day, but I have also noticed, that I have begun to add back in things that I have long forgotten. Things that time and circumstance had put aside. Not because I was being punished, and that Hashem didn’t want to hear from me, rather that He was covering for me until I had more time to spend with Him. Hashem is most understanding.

This year I have reignited not really my desire for prayer, as it was always there, rather the recognition that now I have the time. All of those little moments that I squirreled away to keep my relationship with prayer close were in reality what has kept me going for so long.

How often do we have relationships that are so important to us yet we let slip away, with the tired refrain, I don’t have time? How are we prioritizing the important people and things in our lives?

Challenge: What are some of your challenges with finding time for prayer? What can you do to keep your relationship strong?
What other areas of your life do you find challenging in keeping a connection strong? What can you do to keep it strong?
Where in your life are you able to keep the relationship strong? What are you doing to keep it going?
I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts and allow us to help each other! Let us get on track with our priorities! Priorities#