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Is Prayer like an ATM Machine?

Posted on: September 4th, 2013 by bubbyjoysandoys 2 Comments

Enjoyed this? Share it, and attribute it. Copyright 2014, Bubby Joys and Oys, M. Hendeles

I once heard a speaker say before a large crowd “Listen, God is NOT an ATM machine!”  atm-machine-1355804210AhG

The imagery was great; I immediately pictured myself standing before the local ATM  machine, plugging in my card, and punching on the screen: 2 bills of health. 5 bills of livelihood, and 3 bills of a speedy recovery for that friend of ours.

As trite as the metaphor sounded, I   got his point.  It’s not a matter of demanding from God what we need. It’s not a matter of EXPECTATIONS. It’s a relationship, and we have to “give” to God as well in the ways that we know are correct.

During this time of the High Holy Days when we pray for a sweet, happy and successful New Year, we often wonder what is most important to pray for. I know that God can do anything. And technically, I can ask for everything, and He is capable of fulfilling all of my requests.

But somehow, I find myself prioritizing. And when I think of designing the request hierarchy for myself, I almost always decide that HEALTH comes first.

Well, maybe happiness comes before that? Then again, if we have health, we have happiness.

Or do we?

Now of course, there’s peace, and children, and love, and relationships, and wealth (or just enough money to pay our bills) and world peace and so many other things to pray for.

But when it comes down to it, we all want HAPPINESS. (ask Dennis Prager – he has a whole show devoted to the somewhat elusive concept).

With all that has been going on in our community lately – the smaller and larger community of friends and acquaintances — it would seem that we value HEALTH greatly. That is something that no one wants to take for granted, seeing so many people fall ill to illness.

Anyway, share with me when you can what life stuff you value the most. What is most important to you that trumps all other values?

Or can we really rank these things in life? I’d love to read what you have to say?

Happy New Year! Shana Tova!

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2 Responses

  1. meromusings says:

    As you pointed out, health is the most important factor for me too. When I pray good health for me and my family always comes first. After that I ask God to give me strength to work hard and will to ward off my laziness :P.

  2. Health, family. L’Shana Tova to you and yours.

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