by Heather Tietz
Hear, Israel: the LORD is our God; the LORD is one: and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.
For Jewish people, the words of the Shema are the most favored words of prayer.
They encapsulate their faith. Observant Jewish people recite them morning and evening, twice a day, following the command from Joshua 1:8 to meditate on the Book of the Law day and night. Even little children are taught to say the Shema before they go to sleep, and Jewish people plan to speak them as their final words on earth. For them, the words of the Shema, consisting of three paragraphs: Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41, are honored above all others.
What words of God are dearest to you? Do you find extra comfort or strength in a particular passage?
Embracing God’s words is one way we embrace God. The very act of speaking them, taking the time to think on them, is acting out our love for God.
Meditation is a part of loving Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. With it, we are communicating that He is worth our time, He is worth thinking about, and He is our highest priority.