Reasons To Pray

While preparing for our first Passover dinner, I was reading up on all the traditions of the meal, including the Birkat Hamazon (the “Blessing on Nourishment” or Grace After Meals) is recited. I came across a document with all of the backgrounds on this, but it had this list of reasons to pray according to Jewish traditions, which I thought would be nice to post here:

Jewish tradition offers many reasons different individuals may choose to pray at different times:

  • Prayer can be an opportunity to talk to God;
  • Prayer can be an expression for self-reflection;
  • Prayer can be the expression of hopes, desires, and visions, both communal and individual;
  • Prayer can be a vehicle for awareness or mindfulness of individual moments, which may lead to an appreciation of their uniqueness;
  • Prayer can be an opportunity for participation in a community;
  • Prayer can be a link to tradition and to one’s heritage or background;
  • Prayer, if performed regularly, can be an opportunity to develop self-discipline;
  • Prayer can be seen as […] something we do because God commands it;
  • Prayer can be an occasion for textual study, which may lead to intellectual growth or aesthetic appreciation of meaningful poetry;
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