Is Anyone Listening?

“When we pray, is anyone listening?”

“Indeed, it is almost impossible for a modern today to accept the belief in a God who listens to and answers the prayers of one person on earth.”

In this sermon of December 26, 1965, Rabbi Olan asks a series of questions designed to get at the heart of our faith. First, he asks, “[w]hen we pray, is anyone listening?” To know if a prayer is heard implies that someone, i.e., God, listens. By way of answering the first question, he explores this second question, “Is there a God?”  Rather than a genuine belief in God, Rabbi posits that we sometimes affirm faith in God simply as “a token of our national patriotism.” Midway this exposition, he sounds almost frustrated when he claims that prayer “… at best today is either a convention, a routine, habitual practice, or a satisfactory psychological experience. … But is anyone listening?”

Check out this sermon to hear Rabbi Olan’s conclusion in this matter.

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.

*Written by Lillie Jenkins Walker.*