A Hebrew Teacher Explores Prayer: A Notch in a Tent Peg

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Prayer takes on many forms. There is public prayer, private prayer, mental prayer, vocal prayer, ordinary prayer, and extraordinary prayer. You have occasional prayers and solemn prayers. Prayer comes in many shapes and sizes. Some use prepared prayers others seek to be spontaneous in their prayers. For many, prayers are mere recitations, while for others, prayer is the opportunity to pour one’s heart out to God.

The one common denominator of all prayer is the desire to attach or join oneself to the Almighty with the hope or desire to obtain some favor from God so as to achieve some supernatural assistance. Not to suggest that all prayer has a selfish motive. There are those who practice contemplative prayer seeking to attach or join themselves to God for just the purpose of communing with God, fulfilling that deep need to have a relationship with God.

Prayer can be summed up in the Hebrew word for prayer, which is palal. In its Semitic root, palal means a notch in a tent peg. The tent peg keeps the tent anchored to the ground, but it is that notch in the peg that holds the fabric of the tent to the notch, which keeps it anchored to the ground. Prayer is that notch that keeps us attached to God so that when the storms of life come, we will not be blown away because we are anchored and grounded in God.

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Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.5 in


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