FAQs

Noahide Prayer

How do I ask G-d to fulfill my needs?

Question: Perhaps I should pray to G-d more often or more fervently? And how do I nurture a habit within myself to ask G-d to fulfill my needs?

Answer: It is certainly meritorious to pray to G-d for one’s own needs, as well as for the needs of others, and for the general needs that all people have. It is also meritorious to combine these requests with thanks and praises to G-d. Read more »

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What suggested prayers can Noahides say on Rosh HaShanah?

A Blessing for One’s Children on the Eve of Rosh HaShanah

A father or mother may recite this blessing to a Gentile son or daughter: Read more »

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Can people bless G-d?

Ask NoahQuestion: How it is that a person can be in a position to bless G-d, as implied by the prayer from the traditional Jewish communal liturgy, “Bless the L-rd Who is blessed,” which Rabbi Moshe Weiner approved for your booklet of recommended Noahide community prayer services? Read more »

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Is there advice for Noahide prayers and annulment of regretted vows before Rosh HaShanah?

Question: What should or may a Noahide follow, especially in regard to prayers for the annulment of vows and other specific types of prayers, in preparation for Rosh HaShanah (first day of the New Year in the Hebrew Calendar)?

Answer:

There is no special procedure that a Noahide must follow in the days leading up to, on, or following Rosh HaShanah. Since the first day of Rosh HaShanah is the annual Day of Judgment for every human being, every person should wake up from his spiritual slumber during (and preferably before!) this season, and set aside personal time to make an honest accounting of his character and obedience to G-d – what good aspects need to be strengthened, and what improper aspects need to be corrected. Read more »

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What Psalms of thanks are recommended for Noahides when they’re happy?

We have selected the following Psalms as expressive for a Noahide who is feeling happy, and any or all of these can be recited in in prayerful gratitude to G-d. They can even be recited in anticipation of the happiness one will have when G-d will answer his prayers!

Chapters 33, 100*, 104, 145, 150

*An explanation was given by Rabbi Yosef Yaavetz for the verse Psalms 100:3 – “Know that the L-rd is G-d; He has made us and we are His, His people and the sheep of His pasture.”  Tractate Nidah teaches that this Psalm speaks of the Messianic Era and the Resurrection of the dead and thus says “He has made us.” Before the World to Come, a person is formed through a combination of three partners:  the two parents and G-d (see Genesis 2:24). At the time of Resurrection however, which will mark the beginning of the eternal World to Come, the righteous will be recreated by G-d alone, as this verse says, “He [G-d] has made us.”

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Why is afternoon a special time for prayer to G-d?

Afternoon sky in Israel

The Prayer of Elijah the Prophet on Mount Carmel

By N.S., Dec. 20’15

Among the many examples that the Hebrew Bible gives of people who prayed to G-d and were answered openly, the story of Eliyahu (Elijah) the Prophet’s late-afternoon prayer on Mt. Carmel is one of the most well-known. Perhaps this is because the prophet’s actions wrought a change in the way that the Jewish people viewed G-d. This change in perspective set the Jews on the right path, and they turned their hearts from idol-worship to true service of G-d. By delving into this story, one can better understand exactly what was happening on a deeper level. Read more »

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What daily prayer can Noahides use to accept G-d’s Kingship?

Sunrise over the Land of IsraelNoahides are encouraged to make a verbal statement in their prayers every day that they are accepting upon themselves the faith in the Unity and Kingship of the One True G-d. This is called accepting “the yoke of the Kingship of Heaven” (in Hebrew, “ol Malkhut Shamayim“). Read more »

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What is the purpose of prayer?

 

The Western Wall of the Temple Mount

The Western Wall of the Temple Mount

Adapted from “Keeping in Touch: Torah Thoughts Inspired By The Works Of The Lubavitcher Rebbe,” by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger, published by Sichos In English

The Torah portion Vayeitzei relates that as Jacob left the Holy Land (Israel) to journey to Laban’s home where he would marry and establish his own household, he “encountered the place.” That is where he then slept and dreamt of a ladder reaching up to Heaven, with angels ascending and descending.  Our Sages explain this as referring to the future site of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. There Jacob prayed. Read more »

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Can I develop my own personalized prayer liturgy?

There is not any “official” or “universal” Noahide liturgy for any defined prayer services. On a deeper level, this is really as it should be, because a fixed liturgy could give a Noahide the mistaken impression that he or she has a religious requirement to recite specific prayers at set times of day, or at set days on the calendar, which is not the case. Rather, the minimum obligation of prayer for a Noahide is that when you recognize that you have a need, you should direct your mind to G-d and pray to Him to fulfill that need. When you do that, you can gain even more merit at the same time by having full trust and faith that He hears your prayers and that He will answer in a way that will be truly and openly good for you.* Similarly, when you feel religiously inspired or motivated and want to pray, that prayer should be directed only to the One True G-d, and it can include praising Him and thanking Him,  Read more »

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Are there suggested morning prayers for a Noahide?

Sunrise over the Land of IsraelIt’s a very good thing for a person to start the day with a deep awareness of the Creator. It is also valuable to consider the potential for doing good that G-d grants us with each new day. We are all encouraged to devote the very first conscious thought of the day to the One True G-d, as it says about the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One Blessed be He, “The whole world is filled with His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Read more »

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What prayers of repentance or scriptural verses are appropriate before bedtime?

Here are some suggestions for verses and Psalms that a Noahide may wish to include as prayers before going to bed at night, selected from the traditional Jewish prayers: Psalms chapters 91, 121, 51, and verse 31:6.  These suggestions are in addition to one’s prayers of repentance and for forgiveness from G-d, according to one’s chosen days and times for such prayers.

Read more »

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How can one express feelings of thanks or requests for help to G-d ?

It is important to express feelings of gratitude when praying to G-d. We may already be inspired with this feeling when we start to pray, or we may need to reflect on our blessings for a short time in order to arouse this well-justified emotion. The book “A Time for Prayer” (pub. Yeshivath Beth Moshe, 1996) gives the following introduction to their section of “Psalms for Gratitude.” (Note: the Hebrew word “Hashem” = “The Name” is used as a vernacular replacement for the ineffable four-letter Name of G-d.) Read more »

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Why do you not write “G-O-D”? It is spelled out in Jewish books of Torah and prayer.

The source of this custom for not-sanctified contexts is Deuteronomy 12:3-4. In verse 3, the Israelites were commanded that when they entered the Land of Canaan, they were to destroy the pagan alters, pillars, idol-trees and idol-statues, and to destroy the NAMES of the idols from that place. Then verse 4 says, “You shall not do so to the L-rd your G-d.”

In practical terms, this means in part that we should take precautions so that printings or inscriptions of names of G-d will not come to be “desecrated” – erased, torn, destroyed, or otherwise treated disrespectfully. This applies to a name of the One True G-d in ANY language. Books of scriptures or prayer books are usually treated with proper respect, so it is not a problem to print a Divine name in such books. But other types of printings could easily come to be thrown away, so in that case it is best if a Divine name of G-d is not written out completely. Then the real forming of the holy name is within our mind, and not on the actual page.

More generally, it is proper to shown this respect for G-d’s printed names, because it is an expression of the awe and fear of G-d which we should have.

If one has a document that contains a name of G-d but which is no longer needed, it is best to set it aside in a safe place so that it will not be thrown into the garbage, etc. When one accumulates a number of such items and they need to be disposed of, it is considered to be appropriate to respectfully bury them, so they will decompose within the ground.

Although an image on a computer monitor is not considered a permanent inscription that needs to be guarded, the concern is with the pages that may be printed out.

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In a situation were I am not able to pray verbally, is there a point in doing so mentally?

Purely mental meditation and communication directed to G-d definitely should have its time and place in every person’s life, and this is very dependent on the circumstances, time and place, etc. Rest assured that G-d is fully aware of all our thoughts at all times! So you should NOT stop meditating about and mentally praying to the One True G-d, but you should also look for opportunities of privacy when, if you have needs that you wish to pray for, you can verbalize your prayers.

You can also spend some of your time mentally reviewing what you are learning about the Noahide Commandments, Torah subjects in general, and your understanding of G-d. This means figuring out what you think you understand, what you don’t understand, how the concepts fit together, what your questions are, etc. You’ll discover what questions you need to ask, and you’ll deepen your understanding. In particular, you can read the Chassidic Discourses that are posted on www.asknoah.org, and then review them mentally and meditate on their meanings as your time allows.

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What is the short blessing after food that Abraham taught?

 

Here is the translation of the prayer that Abraham taught his Gentile guests to say after they ate food to their satisfaction, in order to teach them that there is only One True G-d (from the Midrash on the Book of Genesis):

“Blessed is G-d of the Universe, from Whose bounty we have eaten.”* Read more »

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Is there a specific Noahide liturgy?

It is generally accepted that a Noahide can include any of the Psalms as prayers. We note that large parts of the Orthodox Jewish prayer services are made up Psalms. But other parts of the Jewish prayer services consist of prayers that apply exclusively to Jews, and they would even be untrue statements to G-d if said by a Gentile (for example, “Truly, You redeemed us from Egypt…) and return us all to selections of learning from the Oral Torah, and those do not apply for Gentiles.

It’s important to keep in mind that all the prayers written for Jews in the traditional order of the Hebrew services were selected and composed by the greatest Jewish Sages of the post- Second Temple era. These Sages were all great Kabbalists who had deep prophetic insight into the hidden spiritual meanings and spiritual effects of the prayer services, and they did not have in mind that they were composing those prayers for Noahides. Specifically, the essence of the daily Jewish prayer services is that they substitute for a Jew’s obligation to be represented in the bringing of the daily Temple sacrifices, which have temporarily been suspended until the coming of the true Messiah, descended patrilinealy from Kings David and Solomon.

Therefore, to assist Noahides in their daily prayers, Ask Noah International has published a booklet of daily prayers for Noahides:

“Prayers, Blessings, Principles of Faith, and Divine Service for Noahides,” by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet.

(Note: Orthodox Rabbis agree that making a Jewish blessing upon doing a Jewish commandment is NOT appropriate for a Noahide, since he can’t say “Blessed are You … Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to …” That formula is said by Jews only for certain specific commandments which they received from G-d in the Torah, or as decrees made by the Sages that were accepted by the Jewish people.)

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May Gentiles address G-d as Father?

Question: Is there a problem with Gentiles addressing G-d as “Father,” considering that the Jews are called “the children of G-d” [Deut. 14:1]? Maybe that’s a distinction that I should honor in prayer?

Answer: As long as you’re saying this in your heartfelt prayers in your own words, or reading from the translated text of an appropriate prayer from the Orthodox Jewish liturgy, there isn’t any problem with this. “Our Father, our King,” is used in many prayers in the Jewish liturgy. This phrase was used in a moment of inspiration by the Sage Rabbi Akiva at a time of great trouble, and it evoked a miraculous response from G-d when other prayers were not succeeding. By saying “our Father, our King,” you can have in mind that you are including yourself and all Righteous Gentiles along with the Jewish People.

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Sometimes it’s hard to recite prayers; is it OK to sing religious songs?

Question: Sometimes it’s hard for me to recite prayers or Psalms, but I have no problem whatsoever singing out loud to certain religiously-based songs, in many cases, Psalms that have been set to music. Is this an acceptable form of prayer and worship?

It’s useful to try to define some terms. Using dictionary.com as a basis, here are some definitions for WORSHIP:

noun: (a) The reverent love and devotion accorded to G-d. (b) The religious forms by which this love is expressed.

verb: To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion.

Here are some definitions for PRAYER:

noun: (1) A reverent petition made to G-d. (2) An act of communication with G-d, such as in devotion, confession, praise, or thanksgiving. (3) A specially worded form used to address G-d. (4) A fervent request.

While there is definitely overlap of the meanings, PRAYER also has the connotation of a REQUEST than you make to G-d for something that you need, such a safety, health, income, forgiveness, a sign from Above, etc. In WORSHIP, the emphasis is not on communicating your own tangible needs, but rather you open up your heart to express to G-d the love and devotion that YOU FEEL for Him. This is based on your desire put aside your liming physical perspective, and concentrate on a higher spirituality with a mixture of awe and reverence. (Chassidim especially through the generations have composed many beautiful and stirring devotional songs to express love and longing of the soul for G-d.)

Your singing out loud is probably an expression and communication to G-d of the happiness you feel in loving and adoring Him. But how many of your own personal needs do you express to Him as requests while you are singing? Your prayers for your needs are probably better expressed with an approach of humility and a feeling of emptiness – that something is missing or might come to be missing, which you need G-d to provide for you. For that, this paraphrased advice from the Mishna is very appropriate: “Do not approach to pray except with a concentrated and serious mindset.” But of course at the same time you can sing for joy in G-d’s closeness and for happiness in your faith that He hears all prayers.

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