Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Power of Your Prayer, Rather Than That of Intermediaries

A famous Chassidic story goes as follows:

A woman goes to a rabbi and asks her to pray for her family to lift them from poverty. The rabbi says, I will do so for the price of 10 rubles. A ruble was Russian currency, 10 of which in 1900 is worth around 2 thousand dollars today.

"10 rubles!" she exclaims. "I am asking for your help because I don't have any money."

"20 rubles then," says the rabbi.

"20 rubles! I don't have 1 ruble," she cries.

"30 rubles then," says the rabbi.

The woman cries out, "I cannot believe it. Such a price! Forget it. I'll pray myself."

"That's what I was hoping you'd say," said the rabbi. "You pray and I'll pray along with you for no charge at all."

The most potent prayers are those which come from the heart. God hears our cries and listen to those who speak to Him. You do not need an intermediary for those. The most import ingredient is a recognition of our dependence on God as the source of blessing. This recognition is an accomplishment. Our egos lead us to see ourselves as the source of our success. Recognition of our dependence constitutes a transcending of our egos. Our egos shrink, but our souls grow through prayer.

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