7 Cheshvan 5781 / Sunday, October 25, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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The Value of Prayer    

The Value of Prayer

Hashem wants to shower us with every blessing, but He set up this world in a way that we can only receive His blessings once we make a vessel for them…


Translated by Aaron Yoseph



Not surprisingly, the value of prayer is completely concealed in this world. Prayer is looked at as something extraneous. It has to be done, so we do it, but we don’t really see the point. We understand the value and purpose of Torah learning. We know that we need money to live, so making a living is important to us. But prayer? What’s it for? If we can fit it in, we pray a bit. We try. We jump into the Shtieblach for ten minutes and get it over with.


This Torah is one of the two Torah’s which the holy Rebbe Nachman changed the world with. When someone comes close to the Rebbe, he becomes a different person. He knows that from now on, whenever he has a problem, he’ll talk to Hashem about it. Other Rebbes can organise a Kollel and some work for you. How long does this help? Who knows? But the Rebbe changes us.


There’s a story of two poor people who would go around collecting together. One was a student of Reb Nosson, the other of another Rebbe. When they passed by the town of the other Rebbe, the chossid went in and come out a bit disappointed – the Rebbe had only given him enough money to support himself for a couple of weeks. Still, he said to his friend – “But at least he had something to give me. There’s not much point you going to visit Reb Nosson – everyone knows that he’s as poor as we are!” Undeterred, when they travelled past Breslev, Reb Nosson’s town, his chossid went in to see him. When he came out, he was full of vitality and joy. He was in the clouds. Reb Nosson hadn’t given him any money – he’d given him something worth much more – Gan Eden! He didn’t feel that he needed anything else.


Rebbe Nachman opens the gates of prayer for us. It’s true that the Heavens are very high up in the sky, but nowadays we have elevators. You just walk in, push the button, and you’re instantly transported to the hundredth floor. There’s nothing difficult about it. You just push a button, and you’re in the clouds!


In Likutei Moharan I;2, Rebbe Nachman calls prayer a weapon. He says that this is the weapon of Moshiach. The way to arouse Hashem’s mercy is through prayer, to really live the words of the prayers. Moshiach is an expression of the Hebrew word masiach – to talk.


Talking truthfully to Hashem changes everything. Whatever we need in life, we get through prayer. Hashem is the only source for everything in this world. Hashem is the one who gives us whatever we have. Hashem wants to shower us with every blessing, but He set up this world in a way that we can only receive His blessings once we make a vessel for them. Emunah and prayer are what make the vessels. If not for the prayers of the Tsaddikim, there wouldn’t be anything at all. The Tsaddikim do their part, but they leave space for us to do our part too. We have to pray as best we can, and then the Tsaddikim finish off and polish our prayers for us, so that they achieve the maximum results.


Reb Nosson said that whenever he saw a lack, it was due either to a total lack of prayer, or to insufficient prayer. You could see this with Reb Nosson. After hearing about a problem, he would seem worried and anxious, but as soon as he’d prayed about it, he returned to complete joy and tranquility. There was nothing to worry about. He had prayed to Hashem about it, and the salvation was most definitely on its way. He had opened up the pipelines – things would surely turn out for the good. Take advantage of your weapon of prayer, and things will turn out good for you as well.

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