Here are 25 contemplative Jewish quotes on prayer to nourish our body, mind and spirit during these times.
The world we build tomorrow is born in the prayers we say today
A Prayer for Daily Insight
Open my eyes, God. Help me to perceive what I have ignored, to uncover what I have forgotten, to find what I have been searching for. Remind me that I don’t have to journey far to discover something new, for miracles surround me, blessings and holiness abound. And You are near.
The time to study a little Torah, or to pray, or to meditate, can’t be “when everything else is done” — because everything else is never done.
Prayer is where I go to turn off the noise of life. It is there that I connect to the One who made me and reminds me what is true, right, and expected of me in this life.
Prayer is rooted in the idea that man belongs, not to himself, but to God, whose claim to man is not partial but total.
I practice caring less about specific words and more about the quest for connection, the desire for the holy. It is in praying I find God, that I find myself.
Although we don’t know if (or how) our prayers affect God, we know prayer changes us. Prayer sparks a moral revolution in our soul.
Tefillah is an invitation to go inward. The word lehitpallel (to pray) is reflexive – it’s something I do within myself. It involves inhabiting my inner experience, listening to what is happening in the present, allowing my inner reality to express itself, and embracing this experience as a dialogue with my Creator.
Keeping one’s prayers fresh and evocative, given the sheer frequency of this most holy pursuit, is a constant challenge faced by every man, woman, and child. There are no easy solutions.
Our prayer can be a wordless cry from the depths of the heart.
And while God answers all prayers, sometimes the answer is “No.”
Prayer is thus a curative act and it makes sense that it is part of our prescription for healing. When we pray, we do not change God, but we do change ourselves. In doing so, we affect an actual spiritual and physical change in the situation before us.
It is better to eat in order to pray than to pray in order to eat.
A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness
Prayer is to the soul what food is to the body.
Human beings suffer constantly from this homesickness of the soul, and it is in prayer that we cure it. When praying, we feel at one with the whole creation, and raise it to the very source of blessing and life.
Prayer is not a service of the lips; it is worship of the heart.
Prayer is like the light from a burning glass in which all the rays that emanate from the soul are gathered to a focus.
Prayer must be understood as something radically unique and unassociated with any other type of activity. It is the participation in the miracle and mystery of God.
The verb “to pray” in Hebrew is reflexive. Prayer is about exposing and facing up to depths of self, asking difficult questions and trying to answer them, pondering the meaning of God’s teachings for one’s life.
True prayer is a bursting forth of the soul to God. What can be more natural and more human than turning to God’s listening presence with our thanks and our burdens?
The Gates of Prayer are never closed.
Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:12
For humanity to maintain its awareness of God as the Creator of the universe, and for that relationship to be authentic, it must be expressed in every aspect of life. This is why Jewish prayer was not restricted to the house of worship, nor limited to the home or house of study.
Penitence, prayer, and righteous acts avert the severe decree.
High Holidays Prayer Book
The purpose of prayer is not to get us out of trouble. The purpose of trouble is to get us into prayer.
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If you have a favorite Jewish quote on prayer that was not included in our list, please put it into the comments below.
P.S. Here are some tallit and tefillin bags, a.k.a Jewish goods cases, for Jewish prayer.