On Praying to a Limited God

“If God can do anything and He loves all mankind, and He does not use His power to help His child, He is either not God or not good, as the poet McLeish told us in his play, J.B.

Rabbi Olan’s February 16, 1964 radio sermon must have been an eye-opening address to many of his listeners. In it Olan discusses two crucial topics of faith: the nature of God and the nature of prayer. What do we really know about the God to whom we are praying? And what are our expectations of God and of prayer?

“Can we pray to a God whom we cannot define, whom we cannot know except by our own experience? Do we know that He can hear us, or help us? Prayer necessarily means different things to different people. We can profess only what prayer is to us. We cannot pronounce what it must be for all [people].”

If you want to understand Rabbi Olan and 20th century Reform Judaism, I urge you to study this sermon by activating one of the links below.

Follow this link to read the sermon text.
Follow this link to listen to the audio recording.
Follow this link to watch the scrolling-text video.