When I first began to practice and learn about Messianic Judaism, I found Jewish prayer to be fascinating. The expressions and phrases in the blessings and liturgies seemed to transport me to another world. The Hebrew language seemed to sing to me.
Through Jewish prayer I felt a connection not only to my own ancestry, but also the early believers who met and talked and learned and prayed in the Temple and synagogues. I felt a close connection with Yeshua, to whom prayers like these must have meant a great deal.
However, I encountered a problem. I did not understand much about how Jewish prayer works, and I did not know where to start. When I got a hold of a Siddur (the traditional Jewish prayer book), I had expected it to be a useful guide. In reality, it was a disorienting, thousand-page tome filled with words and ideas that I did not understand. It took years of study and practice to really become acquainted with Jewish prayer.
As I did so, I found myself wrestling with critical questions as a follower of Yeshua. Did Yeshua teach against using traditional Jewish forms of prayer? What is the appropriate way to involve Yeshua in a tradition that developed largely outside of faith in him? What does the concept of praying in Yeshua’s name mean with a Jewish context? What about the Birkat HaMinim, which sounds like a curse against believers in Yeshua?
While working through those issues, friends of mine also raised concerns about the appropriateness of Gentiles praying in a Jewish voice.
I am pleased to introduce a new resource that will make moving into traditional Jewish prayer an easier and more spiritually enriching process. It will also bring clarity to issues and questions specifically relating to Messianic Judaism. It is the book that I wish I had many years ago when I first embarked on my journey.
First Steps in Messianic Jewish Prayer is an accessible introduction into the rich world of Messianic Jewish prayer. It presents the basic concepts in Jewish prayer in a simple, straightforward way. It also brings into focus Yeshua’s profound teachings about prayer within their native first-century Jewish context.
This resource begins with an overview of concepts in Messianic Jewish prayer, and then it presents a sample of six prayers that are of particular significance to Messianic Judaism.Each prayer is explained in detail and presented in full in a very similar way to how it would appear in a traditional Siddur.
I am of the opinion that as representatives of the coming Messianic Kingdom, Messianic Judaism should be fervent and engaged in prayer. My hope is that this new resource will encourage and inspire the Messianic Jewish community to grow and progress in this area.
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