March 21, 2005

Speak to God in Prayer as a Friend

“And G-d spoke to Moses face to face, just as a person would speak to a friend.”
— Exodus 33:11

Moses was the only prophet to whom G-d spoke directly, just as a person would converse with a friend. However, this uniqueness went only one way; every single human being has the ability to speak to G-d directly, "as a person would speak to a friend." Indeed, we should do so.

In this way, we can fully express our innermost feelings. True, we address G-d as the King of the Universe, which He is. We also plead with Him as a child does with a parent, which He is. But we certainly would never tell a king everything about ourselves, and we all have things which we would never want our parents to know. With a friend, however, we have fewer restrictions and less resistance. We can reveal everything to a friend, even things that we would be too embarrassed or otherwise reluctant to tell anyone else.

The Torah refers to G-d as "a friend" (e.g. Proverbs 27:10), because it wishes us to have this relationship with G-d, as well as that of subject to sovereign and child to father.

One might ask, "Since G-d knows our thoughts, why should we reveal them to Him verbally in prayer?" The answer is that by doing so, we reinforce our relationship to Him as a friend.

When you complete your formal prayers, add some of your own composition, and speak to G-d as a friend.

... try to enhance the quality of my prayer by revealing to G-d everything that is on my mind, just as I would with a trusted friend.

From Growing Each Day
By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

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