Rav Kook Torah

Psalm 145: To Pray in Truth


“קָרוֹב ה’ לְכָל קֹרְאָיו — לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָאֻהוּ בֶאֱמֶת.” (תהלים קמח:י"ח)

“God is near to all who call to Him — to all who call to Him in truth.” (Psalms 145:18)

What does it mean “to call to God in truth”?

This phrase describes prayer that is sincere and from the heart. However, it does not refer only to how we should pray.

Even more, it indicates why we should pray. For what we should pray.

Falsehood is transitory and fleeting. Truth, on the other hand, is eternal and enduring. The World to Come is called Olam HaEmet — the World of Truth — reflecting its eternal nature.

We call out to God “in truth” when we pray, not for that which is fleeting and insignificant, but for goals which are true and eternal. Prayer in truth aspires to uncover the inner meaning of our existence, the very essence of our lives.

“Return us, our Father, to Your Torah. Draw us near, our King, to Your service.” (Amidah prayer)

When we pray to find our purpose in life and our path to serve God, such a prayer is an authentic reflection of the soul’s inner desires.

God answers prayers that are “in truth,” prayers that express our true inner will. As the psalm continues, “He fulfills the will of those who revere Him” (145:19).

(Adapted from Olat Re’iyah vol. I, pp. 226-267)

Illustration image: ‘The Praying Jew’ (Aleksander Grodzicki, 1893