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What Is The Reason: Destiny & Prayer Print E-mail

What Is The ReasonIf a person has a set time when he will die, then why do we pray for sick people? We pray because we have the power to rise above destiny and create new realities.

We pray because we respond to the world as we see it and not with what we cannot see. (The Hyrax and the S’chach) We pray because we do not know what has been determined for the person who is ill, and we respond to what we can see and know.

The Talmud (Yevamot 49b) debates whether the “set time” to die is fixed, or if we can actually merit to add years onto our lives. The Midrash (Kohellet Rabbah 3:4) seems to follow the opinion of the Chachamim that a “set life” is only for the person who does not actively search to create his own destiny. A serious Prayor is someone who refuses to accept destiny and demands that we be given the opportunity to create new possibilities.

We pray because we believe in miracles. The Ramban (Torat Hashem Temimah) insists that the reason we go directly from “Ga’al Yisrael,” Who Redeemed Israel, into the Amidah is that when we acknowledge the miracles that God has done we must rush to pray because prayer itself is based on miracles: We believe that we can speak to God. We believe that God listens. We believe that God responds with miracles!

When we pray for someone who is ill, we actually pray that he or she be able to access the cure that already exists, as the Gra explains, the Refuah, healing, always precedes the illness.
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