Tefillah: Examine Yourself

imageI learned an interesting Hebrew word today: tefillah. While the English translation is pray the Hebrew and English have very different meanings. When we hear the word pray we think of conversing with God. However, the Hebrew meaning for tefillah is to examine yourself.

We need a balance of both. We need to continually converse with God and we also need to examine ourselves. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, I am quick to repent and ask the Lord to forgive me but I confess, there are also times I say a quick “please forgive me of my sins” prayer that really holds no conviction.

As I contemplated this word I wondered how I would respond to someone who came to me and apologized but really had no idea why. I don’t think I would put a lot of value in their words.

Isaiah 59:2 tells us, But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (KJV)

If your conversations with God seem one-sided lately, perhaps it’s time for a little self examination.