The Power of Prayer

For many of us the source of our motivation to pray is our belief that we have the power to engage God for our needs. Nevertheless, moments where we fear that our personal lacking and sin will cause God to turn us a deaf ear cannot be escaped.

The Talmud Yerushalmi (Ta’anith 1:2 5b) tells us that the Rabbis’ search for candidates to pray for the Rains often came up not with Sages or men of great stature, but with simple people, peasants and even wanton wrong-doers.

The story is told of a man who entertained prostitutes while awaiting their clients. But when a needy woman came to him to sell herself to pay ransom for her husband, that same man simply gave her the money in order to prevent her from degrading herself.

Upon learning about this, the Rabbis declared that this man, irrespective of his profession was worthy to pray for Rain.

The Talmud Yerushalmi teaches us that it is not entirely the quality of the person which moves God to respond to prayer, but the quality of the merit that the person earned! No Jew is too small, too simple or too obscure for God to overlook him.

So magnificent and powerful are the acts of an individual! Bringing down the rain benefits not just the individual who prayed for it, but the Jewish people in their entirety.

The fate of our people could very well hang on the acts of just a single individual! Not only may you have merit, hidden to you but revealed before God for your own prayers to be answered, but also to have your friends’, neighbors’ and even people’s needs addressed.

May the knowledge of the power of prayer fill our own prayers with zeal, fervor and lead us to benefit ourselves and the entire Jewish people!

Michael Linetsky is the director of the Talmud Yerushalmi Institute If you would like to receive these postings your mailbox when they become available, please email {encode="" title=""}