Jewish prayer is the heartbeat of Judaism. In the very center of its elaborate liturgical experience lies one prayer that stands out among others – the Amida, literally, “the standing”. The main idea behind its name (“standing”) is the worshiper’s entrance into the presence of the “seated” Heavenly King. God has granted the ultimate audience to the humble worshipper. There is no one greater to meet.

Therefore, while other prayers are extremely important, it is Amida that deserves our closest attention. There is much that can be said about its current form and the history of its development. Together, we will consider those things slowly, step-by-step as we move through it, experiencing its beauty and admiring its depth of devotion.

Final preparations

Even though much preparation for this divine audience occurred in previous prayers, there is one more additional request that is uttered before God, right before the rest of the Amida can be prayed.

  אֲדנָי שפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ

(Pronounced: Adonai sfatai tiftach upi yagid thilatecha)

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise.”

The worshiper states that his mouth will announce God’s praise, only if God Himself will grant His permission by opening the mouth of His otherwise silent and submissive servant. Many prayers and praises were uttered prior to this, but none in the actual presence of the King of Kings in His own throne room. The time has come to meet Him and final approval from God to speak in His own presence is requested.

It is presumed that God, in fact, grants this humble request and the Jewish worshiper begins his serenade of praise, petition, and thanks to his Heavenly King and Father.

Blessing #1 (FATHERS)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלהֵי אֲבותֵינוּ. אֱלהֵי אַבְרָהָם. אֱלהֵי יִצְחָק. וֵאלהֵי יַעֲקב

(Pronounced: Baruch ata Adonai elocheinu valohei avoteinu. Elochei Avraham, Elohei Itzhak vElochai Yakov).

“Blessed are You, Lord our God and God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob.”

The standard blessing of “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe…”, found in most Jewish prayers, is dramatically and purposely exchanged in Amida for “Blessed are You, Lord our God and God of our fathers”. The worshiper establishes his familial right and, therefore, justified privilege to address God in this special and intimate way. Although the God the Jewish worshiper stands before is, in fact, the God of all Nations of the earth, it is this personal family connection with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that establishes the right and the privilege of Amida. We will soon discover why.

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

91 COMMENTS

  1. Lovely. I would say God of Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David,The Prophets, and Yeshua. Shalom
    • Dolores, you highlight the fact that this God is also the God of all other Biblical heroes. The difference here is that what is mentioned here is not only the fact that He was their God too, but that it is with ABRAHAM, ISAAC and JACOB that foundational redemptive actions of Covenantal proportions took place.

      + More answers (18)
  2. the term Jew... comes from word Yehudi... can it be said that it refers to the tribe of Judah? so I'm trying to understand something about finding my roots. most people I try to ask the question, "are all the tribes Jewish", and they say yes. and if Jew comes from just one tribe, how can the others be Jewish? Ive researched the tribes, and many sources say that the 10 northern tribes didn't obey God and that's why they went into captivity first, but eventually the 2 southern tribes did later. Then it gets added that Benjamin is also Jewish and was in the 2 southern tribes along with Judah. So the reason I'm asking all this is that I was informed through a prophet that I had direct ties with Israel, and when looking at the torah code that was done for me, it says I am interconnected to 3 tribes. Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh. I'm looking at the possibility in moving to Israel, but you have to prove you are "Jewish" and my birth mother was adopted, and all the files were sealed. She is alive but to this day does not know who her birth parents were. So outside of my dad's side being of German descent, I have no clue who I am. and in articles mentioning how some are making aliyah back to the homeland, some actually take a dna test. but this test really only covers about 40 percent of the Ashkenazi realm. I have done 2 separate tests, and according to their database knowledge, it says I have no connection to the Jewish outline. am I in error on the tribal realm?
    • Shalom, Glen! While original meaning of the word Jew or Yehudi was in fact descriptive of the tribe of Judah alone in time and because of the tribe of Judah's leadership over entire Israel this description was extended to all Israel (especially that now it is not possible to tell who comes from what tribe in most cases). I trust this helps you. Do read my book the Jewish Gospel of John (you also have it as a course) I deal there with a lot of issues like that.
    • Malachi 4:2 refers to the Sun of righteousness rising with healing in his wings. What is wrong ascribing Sunday to Yehashua and worshipping Him instead of the physical sun?
  3. My grandfather would tell me that our original family name was Israel (today it's Rael) and that we were conversos (converted Spanish Jews). I grew up in the San Luis Valley of south Central Colorado, U.S.A. Part of my family has been in this region since the late 1600's and the other half has been here even longer. There have been articles, studies and some books about what is known as "the hidden Jew" which refers to the conversos and the SLV is home to many families. I had a DNA test done and it basically told me the same thing my grandfather spoke about - I am 60% Iberian Jew, 9% Ashkenazi, 31% Native American (my great-grandmother was Ute). One day if the Lord allows me, I would love to visit Israel. It has been a life long dream of mine.
  4. I must acknowledge that in pray, I have taken for granted that our God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is always there ready to hear my request in Yeshua's name. I see the respect and honor due to the Almighty God in requesting an audience with Him, asking for His presence. This is a blessing for me. Please pray for me, believed to be Sephardic who's Jewishness was lost with tons of more due to the persecution of our Jewish linage from Spain, etc.. Robert Robles Flores
  5. Shalom Dr. Eli This pray is what we use when we are taking the Communion at Church. We say to our selves because the Church is a Christian Church and don't know that blessing. But people behind see us doing it. But we have not had anyone ask us about yet. My husband believes that when he says it that he is blessing the Church with it when we take communion.
    • It is an overstatement, but what is true is that it certainly has roots in Jewish Liturgical Tradition of which Amida is both a part and a later development.
  6. Sometimes I wonder how we miss this very significant text on who is a Jew.. One thing that happens when you are adopted is you are given the persons last name and as a child you begin to conform to your parent's character & likeness. It is rooted in the blessings of God to make us all Jewish, regardless of the color of our skin...or the language we speak... I think that is one reason for the gift of speaking in tongues gift.

    With that said, Romans 2:29 reads- He is a Jew, which is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not of the letter.

    Moses gave us the law but grace & truth came through Jesus Christ.
  7. […] we continue to journey through the Amida, we discover the foundation of this prayer, both in terms of why this God should be worshiped and […]
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