From the Desk of Rabbi Mordecai Silver, Ph.D.
PRAYING FOR OTHERS’ SPIRITUALITY
How can one pray for someone else to succeed spiritually? Can we pray for someone’s desire for purity? How could we bring the Heavenly assistance the person needs to regain their closeness to Hashem? It is effective for one person to pray for another’s spirituality?
Hashem dies not control a person’s heart and force them to do, say, or feel the right thing. However, Hashem guides our steps as we make our way through each day. Who will they meet? What will they see? Which route will they take to work? Which friend will they call? One’s sincere prayer for another’s spirituality can help bring about positive answers to these questions – answers that help the person we are praying for find the motivation and the wherewithal to open his own eyes and heart.
Hashem Himself taught Israel that one can effectively pray for the spirituality of others. Hashem taught Moshe how to solicit Heavenly mercy for the spiritual survival of Israel. He “demonstrated” that such prayers must be on behalf of the community, not himself alone.
Only when each of us prays for the spiritual ascent of others can all of us survive and triumph over life’s spiritual challenges.
POINTS TO PONDER
In praying for another’s spirituality, we need to learn how to “lean” on Hashem to help show us the way to pray.
One’s prayers are effective nonetheless, for they spare the other person from challenges and provide him with helpful people and situations.
Hashem showed, through Moshe, how to pray for other’s spiritual growth: by asking for Hashem’s mercy.
Psalm 140:7 I said to the LORD: You are my God; give ear, O LORD, to my pleas for mercy. (TNK)