The Shema Is My Substratum (Foundation) for Prayer And Life
Dr. Himie Pickett
The political zeitgiest (environment) of our day can warrant fear, anger, and distrust. Our entire nation is bewildered at how out of 200 plus million citizens, the two running for the highest office of our land are Clinton and Trump. The question becomes: What is a person to do? Answer: Stay focused on YHWH (God). Then the question becomes: How do I stayed focused on YHWH?
For me, personally, I stay focused on YHWH by prayer and centering my prayer time and life in general around what the Jews call the Shema. The word shema in Hebrew means “to hear.” The Observant Jews pray three times a day; however, all of their prayers are centered around The Shema. The Shema is a total of three passages of Old Testament Scripture.
Passage number one:
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
There are four points to be stressed from this passage:
1.The true and living Adoni (Lord) is YHWH. He is one adoni (Lord), and YHWH through Yeshua (Jesus) is our only lord.
2. We are to love YHWH through Yeshua with all of our hearts. Don’t allow your heart to be torn by politics, etc. Put your whole heart in YHWH. He will keep you throughYeshua’s name.
3. Teach the Word of YHWH diligently to your children. This is very simple!!! Each day pray for and WITH your children. Model the Word of YHWH before your children. Have Bible study with your children.
4. Speak the Word of YHWH nonstop. Faith to make it in life comes from speaking and hearng the Word of YHWH (Romans 10:17). Notice the text says to speak the Word in your house and when you are engaging others outside your house.
Notice the text says to bind the Word of YHWH on your person and write the Word on your doorpost. The Jews of old, and a few today, take this verse literally. I believe we should have the Word of YHWH so a part of us that others should be able to read the Word we live, and that people should feel the Godliness and holiness when they walk in our homes.
The second passage:
Deuteronomy 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. 15And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.16Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17And then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up 20And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: 21That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.
The second passage reads like the first passage; however, it stresses two new points:
1. YHWH promises to send rain when it is needed. Rain is an indicator of blessings. No political candidate can make you great. Only YHWH can bless you and make you great.
2. If we don’t hearken to the Word of YHWH, then His anger will be kindled against us. During this election, each candidate has tried to influence our vote by fear of what the other candidate will do. My friend, only fear YHWH (Psalms 111:10).
The third passage:
Numbers 15:37And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.
This third passage encapsulates the first two passages; however, in verse 38, the word generations is used. The Shema is not just a command or prayer prayed by fledgling Israel, but it is efficacious in ALL generations. I am staying focused and in perfect peace by keeping my mind on YHWH through Yeshua (Isaiah 26:3).
Even Yeshua referenced The Shema:
Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him,The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Yeshua said that there was no greater commandment than to pray and live The Shema.
I use The Shema as a foundation for my prayer devotions and life in general. The Shema prayer (Word of YHWH) helped the Jews perdure throughout generations, and it will help us in our’s.
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