Our prayers are acceptable whoever we are

One of my daily rituals is tuning into ” Pause for Thought ” on Chris Evans Breakfast show on BBC Radio 2.  A person of Faith provides a “thought” in amongst the music and chat. On Wednesday the 1st October this task was allotted to Julia Neuberger who is Senior Rabbi at West London Synagogue. She is a regular contributor.

She was talking about Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people.

This Holy Day was to take place on the Sabbath which was Saturday.

She illustrated her thought with a beautiful story about prayer.

The story was first told by an 18th Century Eastern European Rabbi (I am sorry I cannot repeat the name as I was unable to catch it). One particular Yom Kippur a poor and illiterate shepherd boy joined his congregation. Although the boy was deeply moved by the service, unable to read the Polish or Hebrew, he became increasingly frustrated as he could not join in with the prayers. So he started to whistle. He realised that this was the one gift he was able to offer to God as he was able to whistle beautifully. The congregation around him were horrified, urging him to stop immediately, telling him that he was being disrespectful and worst of all that he didn’t belong. The Rabbi quieted them informing the group that up until that point he had sensed a blockage to their prayers in reaching the Heavenly court. When the boy began to whistle, his whistling was so pure and so genuine that it opened up the communication of all their prayers. Sometimes the simplest form of communication and the most heartfelt, can be the most powerful.

Julia Neuberger rounded off her “thought” by saying that everyone is able to pray meaningfully to God and to have their prayers accepted by Him. Everyone’s prayers, everyone’s plea can be heard, whoever we are.

Although I am a Christian and not Jewish, I love to listen and learn from people of integrity of other Faiths. I hope I may prove to be a person of integrity also. I consider that listening to the stories and the wisdom of another enriches my walk with God.


About Gentle Breeze

Julia is married to Kevin. They live together in Todmorden with their black and white cat Willow. Todmorden is a small rural town nestling among the Pennine hills in the Upper Calder Valley, on the border of West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Julia is a mixture of contradictions. She happily shares her email address with her husband; yet when she married she kept her own surname.
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9 Responses to Our prayers are acceptable whoever we are

  1. That is beautiful; and an important reminder not to judge others’ spirituality. There are so many different ways to prayer and be intimate with our God.

  2. paulfg says:

    “I consider that listening to the stories and the wisdom of another enriches my walk with God.”

    • Thank you for the comment. I’m glad you liked the post. Strangely enough I almost wrote Amen at the end. The whole post felt like a prayer, a prayer that my new found Christian friends would understand my position.
      I am also glad you commented. I thought of your post “Dear God” about group prayer when I heard the Rabbi’s story. I hope you might consider it a valid comment on the subject and a story that paints a beautiful picture.
      All the Best,

  3. Pingback: Isn’t this prayer “stuff” so much more simple? | Just me being curious

  4. I love, love, love it! Your About page is simple and to the point, but your writing is WONDERFUL and inspirational. You started (by the looks of it) your blog a few months before I did mine, though I have been involved in web-based ministries for years!
    I love your take on prayer, as the Bible teaches us, our God, our Heavenly Father looks at the heart of men and women and not some title or designation. It also tells me that those who LOVE (in action and not so much “feeling”) are born of God and God knows them! So conversing and communing with others of differing beliefs is not just demonstrating a Godly love for others, but a sincere effort to seek God’s Spirit in others. Our Scripture tells us to “try the spirits” but also that our “spirit, will bear witness with others” of like spirit and love!
    It is so very awesome to me how the Holy Spirit is also showing me to brothers and sisters of different countries yet who all belong to ONE Heavenly Home. I am learning and gaining such an awesome perspective about life in neighboring countries and especially from a Christian’s perspective.
    Now, I am going to put your site on my links page and I am going to follow you, but I follow so many that I have to make the rounds and I WILL be back to read more and I usually always comment. Not on everyone I read but those especially that inspire me. I am VERY excited to follow you as you continue in your service (ministry) to the Lord and to all whom the Lord sends past your writings!!! God bless you richly and oh so greatly!

  5. Julia;

    I tend to tread backwards in time and go to posts that interest me when I see one. This post jiggled my senses, so to speak. I recently labeled myself an Occasionalist, my own Christian religion I guess. I’m more of one of those Easter, Christmas, wedding, christening, funeral people. I am, and have for a long time, been a believer of something more powerful. I’m 72, been the prayer presenter at family gatherings forever, just this Thanksgiving for an audience of 32,

    I was a Methodist, not by choice, and then Lutheran by choice in my early years. I married at 22 and have been a semi/practicing Catholic for the past 50 years. Our 3 children were all raised Catholic. Were it not for Henry the VIII, most of Great Britain would be Catholic today I suspect.

    At any rate, I loved the piece you wrote. It made me first think of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Now “Prayer to the All Mighty” will come into play when I hear a whistle tingle my senses.

    Have a wonderful day, The Rooster

    • Dear Rooster
      I think I know what you mean about treading backwards. I have been so busy lately I have been doing that, or sometimes, to my sorrow, not doing that because of no time.
      On my own journeying I have attended and worshipped at many different churches of different denominations. My husband was brought up a Roman Catholic and at one time we were part of a Methodist Church, a Roman Catholic Church and an Anglican Church. Perhaps we overdid it because soon after that my husband began to have doubts and then stopped going to church at all. So did I for a while.For now, I find myself back at the Methodist Church I attended as a child, with still some of the same leaders who were there then. I also am glad to find fellowship on line! I think that definitely helps me to feel sane.
      I am glad you liked the story of the whistler! It touched me too when I first heard it.
      Love and best wishes

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