Obligation to Pray


Who is obligated to pray?

When an individual or a community faces an impending danger, they are obligated to call out to God in prayer. In order to fully receive all of G-d’s power, protection, and support, individuals or communities must strongly and publicly declare their trust in God and open themselves to receiving whatever is His will. An example of a praying community saved from total destruction is found in the Bible. The ancient city of Nineveh was the largest city in the world for about 50 years. It was located in Northern Iraq. The prophet Jonah was sent as a messenger of God to command the King of Nineveh to stop doing evil and do good or else he and his city would be destroyed. The entire city prayed, repented of their evil ways, and was spared from destruction. Jonah, the Jewish messenger, was obligated to deliver the message and everyone else was obligated to heed the message. Everyone, wicked or righteous, rich or poor, king or servant, is obligated to recognize and believe in God as King. Without a nation, without a kingdom, there is no King. A King needs a nation to acknowledge Him as King and affirm their allegiance to His will and testify as witnesses that He runs the world. Our Creator requires each of His creations to acknowledge Him as the ruling power in their life and to choose to believe in order, not chaos. The concept that every event in the universe and every experience in a person’s life is specifically guided and determined by the will of God is meant to be a source of comfort for all people.