Day 4 of Elijah Interfaith Summer School

Wednesday 5th August 2020 — Hosted in Jerusalem, participants zoomed-in from around the world

Gordie Jackson
3 min readAug 6, 2020
Jerusalem August 2019/ gjphoto

We started the day with a prayer led by one of our participants who is a Roman Catholic religious sister. That set the theme for the afternoon as we were looking at prayer as a connection to God.

Alon talked us through three Rabbinical takes on prayer asking us to identify the components of prayer. They seemed to be supplication, praise and requests.

I must admit I just pray and have never given thought to the formula. I struggle to understand the difference between supplication and petition. A quick check on Google provided the below on Jewish prayers.

A further Google search tells you there are 4 types of prayer, then 5, then 6.

We then looked at a Christian prayer and a Muslim prayer. In conversation with others, I realised that I see God through Jesus. Jesus is the human face of God and as I relate to God I do through my relationship with Jesus. I had never quite seen this before and I wonder did I only see it because I was discussing it within an interfaith context?

I also noted that the translation that we were using of Matthew chapter 6 which contains the Lord’s prayer read, “Do not pray like the Gentiles.” Again I noted that Jesus was speaking to Jewish disciples. Of course, I knew this intellectually but I hadn’t emotionally connected to it before. Was it because I was in an interfaith context that I had the emotional connection?

I also found that although I am not particularly into written prayers the line in the Lord’s prayer, ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’ is a daily reminder to forgive. It is a bit like the internal voice that reminds me ever so gently to brush my teeth. Each time I come to the line I have work to do, there are those I need to forgive and those who need to forgive me.

Elijah has produced a rich interfaith resource sprung out of COVID 19. We drew on two contributions one from a Patriarch of the Armenia Church and one from a Rabbi of a contemporary Jewish community, as below.

We completed the day with Bibliodrama though as it was such a rich experience it will need a story all to itself and I am running out of time right now as we are due to start Day 5 in 14 minutes. I did find this demonstration of it on Youtube which may help.

Best day,




Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.