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Does Judaism have a prayer that requests success in sports?


Rabbi Goldwasser

Rabbi Jeffrey Wolfson Goldwasser

Question: Does Judaism have a prayer that requests success in sports?

I am becoming more religious and turing pro as an athlete. Does Judaism have a prayer that requests success in sports?

Answer: In general, Judaism does not have many prayers asking God for specific personal success. For example, there is no prayer in which a business person asks to make a lot of money. There is no prayer for a rabbi to ask to teach Judaism really well.

On the other hand, there are prayers in which we can ask God to help us develop qualities that lead to success. Every day we ask God in the Amidah to help us find wisdom, understanding, piety, forgiveness, health and sustenance -- all qualities that can help a person succeed in any endeavor, including athletic competition.

Jews do not generally think of prayer as "God's suggestion box." The purpose of prayer is not to get God to give us things. Rather, prayer is the way that Jews maintain their relationship with God so that they will be able to find the God-given abilities that already are within them. Viewed in this way, I would say that every prayer and blessing in Jewish tradition is a prayer for the ability to succeed in all of life's noble and worthy challenges.

I wish you success and joy in your pursuits on the field, on the court, in the ring, on the track, and in life.

Rabbi Jeffrey W. Goldwasser

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