The Labor of Prayer
Whatever is your best time in the day, give that to communion with God. -Hudson Taylor
There is a biblical command to give our first fruits to God. We till the earth. We plant seeds. We water. We clear the weeds. We watch them grow. We protect them. We pray for rain and the right weather. We invest all our time and effort to see the grain and fruit grow. And then, after significant investment, the first fruits grow and blossom. They are ripe. They are ready to be sold and eaten.
But then God says: “Hold on – not so fast. You need to give that very first fruit to Me. Bring the fruit to My Temple in Jerusalem and give it to the priests, my representatives on Earth.”
This commandment, amongst so many others, reminds us that everything is from God and thanks to God. When we pay Him homage (literally), we confirm and reaffirm that fundamental truth.
The Sfat Emet in 5631 (1871) states that our first hour of the day is like our first fruits. We must dedicate that time and give that time to God in prayer. We acknowledge that all our efforts, all our resources would amount to nothing without God’s active support. By consecrating our first hour of the day to the spiritual work of prayer, we ensure a greater likelihood that God will remain with us the rest of the day.
May we have and retain the capacity to pray earnestly and witness the resulting blessings.
To the Emergency Response Team of the Jewish Community of Uruguay. It’s great doing drills together and I pray we never have to use what we practice.