Continued from previous DZ study
As the Zohar previously mentioned, the Israelites pray in truth to draw water from the well. Even wizards and magicians cannot activate natural forces of God to manifest their desires unless they use truth in their words and actions.
Even if they scream all day, without truth they cannot activate forces as they desire.
The Zohar brings an example from Elijah the prophet. The people were following the idol worship of the Baal that was a local god. To prove that the Baal is a false god, Elijah gave them an Ox to offer to the Baal and he took another Ox for himself to offer to God. He made a condition that they can pray but cannot set the offering on fire. The fire should come down from above, from God, as it is done in the Holy Temple. They agreed.
1 Kings 18:26
“וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת הַפָּר אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לָהֶם וַיַּעֲשׂוּ וַיִּקְרְאוּ בְשֵׁם הַבַּעַל מֵהַבֹּקֶר וְעַד הַצָּהֳרַיִם לֵאמֹר הַבַּעַל עֲנֵנוּ וְאֵין קוֹל וְאֵין עֹנֶה וַיְפַסְּחוּ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה.”
“Then they took the ox which was given them, and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, “O Baal, answer us.” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made.”
Obviously, their prayers and screaming didn’t work. when the time comes, Elijah made a short plea to God and a fire came down and consumed his offering.
1 Kings 18:37
“עֲנֵנִי יְהוָה עֲנֵנִי וְיֵדְעוּ הָעָם הַזֶּה כִּי אַתָּה יְהוָה הָאֱלֹהִים וְאַתָּה הֲסִבֹּתָ אֶת לִבָּם אֲחֹרַנִּית.”
“”Answer me, O YHVH, answer me, that this nation may know that You, O YHVH, are God, and that You have turned their heart back.””
Elijah’s prayer was answered because he wanted to show the truth to the people, so they will stop following false gods.
In his short plea, Elijah mentions that God turned their heart away from seeing the truth. The spiritual system works in a way that would support us in the ways we choose to follow. If we want to follow the truth, we will get support and come closer to it as we proceed on this path. If we prefer to follow false and temporary desires for pleasures from this temporary world, we may achieve that but it would take us farther from the truth and the eternal state of God.
The story in 1 Kings 18 is somewhat funny but with a great lesson. While the people were waiting for the fire to come from above Elijah suggested to them to scream louder just in case the Baal is taking an afternoon nap and need a wakeup call. I suggest reading the entire chapter.
During the ten days of repentance including Yom Kippur we mention different prayers of Tzaddikim that were answered by God. We ask that our prayers be answered as God answered their prayers. This event with Elijah is one of them. It’s always good to connect to Tzadikim with our prayers. They became Tzadikim because their ways were always in truth. When we wish to strengthen our prayers, it would be good to light a candle for the honor of a Tzadik and make your non-selfish prayers with truth in our hearts.