There is a certain common denominator in Israel among orthodox Judaism prayers and blessings. While the Siddur, the Jewish prayer book, is filled with prayers for nearly every occasion of life, honoring the Almighty is a theme that, like a basket, is weaved into every prayer. The daily pursuit of honoring God is a practiced priority of all those who love God.
When Evangelicals talk about having a personal relationship with God through Christ, we are talking about the central piece of our faith. However in the words of my good friend Moshe (an Orthodox Jew who owns a shop with his brother Dov within the Jewish Quarter of the Old City), a typical Orthodox Jew would not speak of having a personal relationship with God since in one’s pursuit of honoring God a certain level of distinction is upheld between God the Almighty and ourselves as created beings. To speak of having a relationship speaks of a certain and assumed equality with God, a concept that is foreign in Judaism. Yet at the same time, Moshe would contend that there is never a time, moment, or circumstance in one’s daily life where God is not present. In other words, Jews feel they have a personal relationship with God, but don’t use the same language as us in describing it. The reason? The desire to always honor the Almighty.
Maintaining the “Creator-creation” distinction is an important one. In fact, the Reformers (Calvin, Luther) talked about this distinction frequently in their own pursuit of acknowledging the differences between the infinite and the finite. Indeed, while the Christian Scriptures (the NT) are filled with examples of how Christ provides the bridge between us and Almighty God, our responsibility as members of God’s redeemed community is to honor God in all that we do and say (Colossians 3).
In our daily walk, prayer life, conversations with others, and especially in the quietness of our thought life, we are encouraged to honor the Almighty. In doing so, we celebrate God’s greatness and glory and keep in mind who God is!