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"In return for my love they are my adversaries; But I am all prayer."

Psalm 109:4 JPS 1917

Someone quoted to me the part of this verse which says "I am all prayer". The idea "I am prayer" was used this way:

Suppose I perform an action with Hashem in mind, in obedience to Him, and I do it for Him. This, it was stated, is a nonverbal form of prayer in which my actions communicate to Hashem.

For instance, if I am performing a task at work when no one is watching-- say, cleaning up-- and I choose to do a good job when no one will notice or care, but I do it for Hashem with Him in mind, is that action a form of prayer?

Has anyone heard of this verse being used this way, or are there other sources to support this?

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  • What does it mean to clean up at work for Hashem?
    – shmosel
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 4:32
  • There are times at work when my mind is not set on Hashem. In those times I may obey Torah, but I am not actively thinking of Him. But there are other times where I might not say anything, but I intentionally do something with an acknowledgement in my mind of His eye upon me, and I do it so as to show Him love, or reverence, or fear.
    – 1Sam1223
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 4:52
  • ואני תפילה is often understood to mean that Dovid himself was a prayer, not that he prayed. I think there may be a medrashic source for this.
    – The GRAPKE
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 7:59
  • 1
    @TheGRAPKE the closest I found is the idea that we are reliable in tefilla (Pesikta D'Rav Kahanna 28:9). All the midrashim seem to connect this idea to the idea that despite the fact that the nations hate us, we still offer 70 korbanot on their behalf on Sukkot
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 13:47
  • wonder if connected sefaria.org/Psalms.69.14?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 22:23

2 Answers 2

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Rashi explains simply as, that because I always pray to You, I am like a living prayer. So to some degree that falls in with your approach.

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Besides what @Dov said, the Ramban seems to explain that this means that prayer is his constant occupation. Thus, you are "a man of prayer" (Shaarei Teshuvah 3:147). See also the Radak there.

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  • 1
    Nice find, this is a very good avenue to follow to find if OP's idea exists and where
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 22:11

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