Tag Archives: Prayer

I’m here.

To say that I’ve been frustrated and stressed lately is an understatement. There are moments when I just want to give up… to forget about Hebrew and Arabic… to try to find another way… but I know this is not an option for me right now.

For some reason it’s really been building up, and I’ve been so overwhelmed with it all.  Over our 2 week Pesach break, I was able to relax and devote all my extra time with ministry, which probably made my recent distaste for language studying escalate even more.

I’ve found in my life that when I’m discouraged and frustrated God has a way of putting little bits and pieces of comfort in my path.  

Today in Hebrew class we were discussing the idea of learning languages at a young age.  Our teacher then asked us how many years each of us have been learning Hebrew, to which I was a bit shocked at the answers.

I have been studying Hebrew for 2 years now… 2 LONG years; but out of everyone in my class I’ve been studying Hebrew the least amount of years. There are kids in my class who have been studying 4-10 years, and many of them have grown up in Jewish families, hearing Hebrew spoken all their lives.

I had a similar experience in Arabic class yesterday.  One of the girls in my class told me she’s been studying Arabic for 5 years now! 5 years! Me??? One.

As I sat there listening to the numbers I just thought, “What the heck am I doing in these classes with these groups?  No wonder I’m beyond stressed and mentally exhausted every night. No wonder why my mother is sick of hearing my cries every weekend…”

And then I thought of it in a new light.  Here I am, sitting in class, at the same level as these kids who have been around Hebrew their entire lives. Here I am sitting in Arabic class, reading and writing text, and just a year ago I couldn’t even recognize letters.  I might not get the highest grades on my tests or read at the same fluency as others, but I’M HERE!

I made it this far, so I might as well suck it up and keep on trekking.

Yes, I’m still frustrated…

Yes, I’m still stressed…

Yes, I’m still mentally exhausted……..

But, I’m Here!  And just that is encouragement for me today.

** Could you just say a little prayer for me this week (well, month for that matter)??? I’m really needing them! Thanks, bloggy friends!!!

What is prayer to me?

I’ve been dabbling in Max Lucado’s book, Fearless, whenever I have the opportunity; and yesterday, while I was in Celcom for more than 3 hours, I was able to read quite a bit.

Something he wrote regarding prayer grabbed a hold of me and hasn’t let go…

Prayer is the practice of sitting calmly in God’s lap and placing our hands on his steering wheel.  He handles the speed and hard curves and ensures safe arrival.  We offer our requests; we ask God to “take this cup away.”  This cup of disease, betrayal, financial collapse, joblessness, conflict, or senility.  Prayer is this simple.

He goes on to talk about how we overcomplicate the topic of prayer.

We prescribe words for prayer, places for prayer, clothing for prayer, postures for prayer; durations, intonations, and incantations.

And yet, it is the smallest, shortest, and most heart-felt prayers that, lately, I can only produce.



Thank You.

You know.

And He does.  He hears me and He knows my heart.  And for this and many other reasons, I am so THANKFUL for my אבא.

Ode to the one-eyed cats.

Today as I was walking about here and there, I happened to notice a bunch of one-eyed cats, like three in a row.  Of course, seeing millions of cats a day is not anything new (read all about it in this Med. Monday if you need to catch up), but for some reason I noticed a lot of blinded cats today.

We are called to heal the sick and the blind, so does this extend to cats or animals in general??? How many of you have ever prayed for a pet?  A dog needing surgery? A horse who broke his leg?   (I’ve actually said a prayer or two for our dog, Tasha)

I’m sure its contraversial within the prayer realm… and for that matter healing in general is an issue many people don’t even agree upon; but as I was walking I couldn’t help shrug the thought that maybe I should just go lay hands on one of those cats. hehhehee (But then the grossness of their condition freaked me out and I quickly dismayed that thought…..forgive me, God.)

Sooooooo, Ode to all the one-eyed cats out there.  You may not have many people willing to pray healing upon you, but here is a special prayer for all of you today:

May your good eye be 20/20 vision, may it contain peripheral sight, and may you all see just as well as all those two-eyed cats tonight!

1 eyed cat

When it rains, it pours!

As my mom said today, in the beginning of her email…

When it rains, it pours.

Well, its pouring!

…I’ve recently started up knitting again, and for anyone who knits (or knows the process) pulling on that single string can unravel the entire project.  I feel like at this moment someone is pulling on my family’s sweater string, and we are slowly losing the shape of what looked like a beautiful, close-knit sweater.  As fast as I try to knit the stitches together, its just not as fast as the rate of that string being tugged….

So The Time Has Come.

In the OT, people fasted for various reasons: 

  •  Distress/grief (David for the loss of his son… the 7-day fast after the death of Saul)
  •  Repentance/Atonement (The Ninevites after Jonah’s warning… and even today in Israel on Yom Kipur)
  •  Spiritual Preparation (Daniel before receiving the revelation… Moses before receiving the 10 Commandments… and even Jesus for 40 days in the desert)

I have decided that I, too, must begin the journey.

I don’t know for how long I will fast; but I do know that like those before me, I am expecting a BIG breakthrough. As hard as I try, I can do nothing on my own.  I need His help! I am holding God to HIS promises.  I am praying for the future and well-being of my family, the people I love most in this world.  I am taking back what the world has stolen from us, and I’m not letting go.  It won’t be easy, but nothing of true value is gained with little effort.  

Therefore, if you would be willing to remember us in your prayers and keep me accountable to follow through, I would be eternally grateful!  

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord….plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart.

Mediterranean Monday: Praying toward Jerusalem

dscf0834There is one thing that all Orthodox Jews have in common, no matter where they live in the word…..they pray facing Jerusalem. It doesn’t matter if its east from the US or south from Russia, it is always facing toward Jerusalem.  

I remember my first encounter with this was in the airport on my way to Israel, the first time.  The flight was soon after the 3rd prayer call (yes, there are 3 times a day for prayer), and all the Orthodox men were in one area, reading from their prayer books and facing……yep, EAST!  At the time I had no idea what that was about, but now I do.  

Even though there is currently no temple in Jerusalem (it was destroyed the 2nd time by the Roman Empire), a prayer for the construction of the 3rd temple is part of the daily prayers.  The temple acts as a figurative dwelling of God’s presence in the physical world, and since there is no physical temple, they pray toward the direction it was/will be. Those already in Jerusalem pray facing the Temple Mount.

What is also interesting is that all Bet Knesset’s (synagogues) also face toward Jerusalem.  The bet knesset is a type of substitute temple, which reminds the Jewish people of the incompleteness resulting in the destruction of The Temple. In each Bet Knesset there is an ark, with the Torah inside.  Even the ark must be situated in the direction of Jerusalem.

I could go on with more detailed information, but I think you got the jist of it.  One thing is for sure….the Orthodox better be good with directions!

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