Hallel: Fifth Paragraph: Prayer As Connection
Psalm 116: Part One: Fifth Paragraph: Prayer As Connection
(This paragraph is not recited on the final days of Passover or on Rosh Chodesh)
“I love that God hears the voice of my prayers, that I am listened to when I call! Ropes of death strangled me and alleys of the grave found me; I discovered trouble and sadness. So, I called out in the Name of God: Please God, rescue my soul! God is proper and just. Our Lord shows compassion. God defends the simple. I was lowered but then saved. My soul, return to your place of comfort, for God weaned you with kindness. For You saved my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my legs from tripping. I walk before God in the lands of the living. I kept faith even when I thought that I was destitute, even when I rushed to say that all people are liars.”
“I love that God hears the voice of my prayers, that I am listened to when I call!” King David celebrates the connection of prayer. It is difficult to maintain the infinite relationship with God described in the previous paragraph. Life circumstances, “Ropes of death strangled me and alleys of the grave found me; I discovered trouble and sadness,” often make it difficult to act. We feel choked by crises and the demands of life. There are times in life when we feel that it is impossible to act as God demands from us. We understand that we have a choice between an eternal relationship with God or heading towards doom, and that our souls are at risk. We cry out to God, “Please God, rescue my soul!”
We trust that God hears our cries, and even when we are too simple to know how to act, He will defend us. He gives us the ability to rise again and to be independent: “My soul, return to your place of comfort, for God weaned you with kindness.”
We are not only challenged by life, other people often test us. We deal with people on whom we cannot rely. We often feel alone. This differs from my own problems and issues. There are other people involved. Yet: “I kept faith even when I thought that I was destitute, even when I rushed to say that all people are liars.”
We use the power of prayer when we are stuck, when we do not know how to move forward, and when others confront us, and we rejoice in the fact that God hears our voices and listens when we call.