Judaism and non-Jewish prayer

How do followers of Judaism think that non-Jews who are monotheists and have a belief in the God of the Hebrew Bible should pray? Can you pray the Jewish liturgy without being a convert. Looking at the Jewish liturgy, which i have done only very briefly, many of the prayers sound to me that they are for Jews and can’t be used outside of that eg, ‘the God of my forefathers’ ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one’ etc.

That’s an interesting question. I think the short answer is that Judaism doesn’t define itself as a universal religion - it believes that those who are born Jewish have a unique and special relationship with God, and that it’s prayers are part of that relationship.

I sort of thought that, and if so that is my sticking point. I find the wisdom of Jewish Rabbi’s fascinating and, to be honest, it is perhaps the main thing that puts doubts in my head about Christianity. However if it is only a national revelation and is not on offer to the whole world then that puts me back in Jesus team.

I am a “non-jewish monotheist” who believes that the Torah given to the Jewish people lead by Moses tells us about God. I pray with the Psalms and make up my own prayers. The “Our Father” is actually a wonderful prayer but is unfortunately too closely associated with my former Catholic beliefs for me to pray to God with those exact words. Please don’t consider this to be proselytizing, and DO NOT look further into this unless you desire to increase your liability before God, but the “Noahide” movement is largely run by Orthodox Jews and Chabad to give non-Jews who desire to seek the true God a chance to learn. There is no liturgy for non-Jews nor can there be since it is forbidden for any person to start a new religion. Forming a new liturgy or ritual prayers would be creating a new religion. Our mission as Gentiles who fear God is to work goodness and help to heal the world, not start new religions or proselytize!

But Judaism is an offer to the whole world though by your choice to convert, not ours. IOW, there is no evangelizing within Judaism. Indeed, converts are turned away twice to be certain of their sincerity and to ensure they realize through studying all the challenges involved in becoming Jewish. Judaism does not believe that everyone need become Jewish; leading a good, principled, honest, moral life with regard to one’s kind and loving behavior toward others is what counts the most. Certain rituals may only be practiced by Jews but that’s quite similar to what is found in Catholicism as well. However, there are Jewish prayers that any Catholic can say, which would not be contrary to the tenets of either Judaism or Catholicism. The Shema prayer, for example, proclaiming the unity of G-d is not contradicted by Catholic belief since, even though Catholics believe in a Trinitarian G-d, they also proclaim the Oneness of G-d.

How do followers of Judaism think that non-Jews who are monotheists and have a belief in the God of the Hebrew Bible should pray? Can you pray the Jewish liturgy without being a convert.

Why not pray utilizing a Jewish siddur (prayer book)? Or pray the Psalms (“Tehillim”)? There is nothing in either of these books that conflict with monotheism.

I was thinking of the Psalms too.

Do you live near any Jewish gift and bookstores. I used to love to browse the Jewish stores in the city where I lived.

This is a good website - www.aish.com to learn more on Judaism.

I never really had doubts about Christianity itself, but I did go through a period where I felt that I needed to understand God the father (Yahweh) better, because most of my life I had always prayed to Jesus. I spent alot of time reading and learning the Psalms and much of the Old Testament. But it was by reaching out to God the father that I was led closer to a relationship with Jesus and a better understanding of his words. Its easy to forget, but Jesus is alive as we speak, existing just as we are, even if we can’t see him. If you ask him to show himself to you, he will.

“Jesus Christ is in you” 2 Corinthians 13:5
“I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:20

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.