How to get the right focus

There is a daily prayer Jewish children learn as soon as they can talk, one that is repeated daily throughout their lives. (Obviously, not all practice this, but it is part of the culture.) It is called the Shema and is the centerpiece of the morning and evening prayers, believed by some to be the most essential.

I tell you this because this prayer is taken from Deuteronomy 6, starting in verse 4 (also chapter 11). It is traditionally said with one’s hand over the eyes as a way to focus more closely on what is being spoken.

Why would these words be so very important? What are they saying? Why would they matter to me today as a Christian?

So glad you asked!

These words were given by God to Moses for the People. This is what God says about Himself:

He is one. There are no other gods, just Him.
We are to love Him with heart, soul, and strength – our entire being.

He also gives instruction about learning His commands and keeping them close, in focus — even inscribing them on the door posts of our homes. (These things are so rich, I could talk all day about them, but… later!)

The importance is not just being obedient to these commands, it’s so that we know intellectually that God is the one and only true and living God. It’s so that we know emotionally that He is God, always present and ever strong. It’s so that we know deep within our spirit that He is Life and Truth. It’s so that we recognize physically that He is our strength.

Knowing these words, making them a part of our every day will help us get the right perspective on who God is, what He says, and who we are to Him. That perspective can help determine our path each day.

But Faye! We have the Holy Spirit to guide us each day!

Yes, Believer, that is true. But, don’t you think He just might use these words daily — words that HE had written — to guide your thinking processes and decision making? If we don’t add scripture in, what He says won’t make sense to us in our humanity.

Maybe we should join our Jewish family in reciting the Shema (Pronounced: shuh-MAH) to right our focus before we start our day and again in the evening to wrap up our day. Maybe test my theory that doing so would make changes in us that bring us into alignment with the Father and make our lives more glorifying to Him.

Ready?

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

[Additional resource: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-shema/]


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