It is incumbent on every person to try to achieve understanding of the Creator according to his capability. He should meditate always on the greatness of the Creator and on His supervision over the whole creation in order to awaken his heart to love and feel awe of Him.
What does it mean to feel love and awe of HaShem in prayer?
When a person understands that G-d is the Creator of everything and keeps everything in existence at every moment, and that G-d created all people so they should honor and serve Him, and then he meditates on the infinite greatness of G-d according to his ability and understanding, he will come to love G-d. When one also contemplates the lowliness of any creation in comparison to the Creator of everything, he will realize G-d’s infinite greatness, and awe and fear of G-d will fall upon him. A person will also be humbled by knowing that he is a small, lowly creation with severely limited understanding, who is standing in the Presence of G-d AlMighty.
This understanding and these meditations are the ways to recognize G-d and serve Him with love and fear. There is no true recognition without thought and meditation, and true meditation brings true emotions in his heart in prayer, and have proper intentions for proper actions. We find that part of the obligation to believe in and recognize G-d is the obligation one has to connect his intellect to his feelings, to bring himself to love and fear G-d, and accept an obligation to fulfill G-d’s explicit will (the Noahide Code). Also included is the effort a person should make to follow correct paths and deeds that will be pleasing to G-d, even if there are no specific commandments that apply. G-d expects that if an adult person with developed intellect is blessed with the opportunity to learn of these ways, he will strive to follow them. (The Prophets of the Hebrew Bible revealed that these are ways of kindness, justice, mercy, righteousness, graciousness, and humility.
These are basic examples, but one should strive to follow not only these virtues, but any understood way that G-d wants a person to act.) Therefore, a Gentile needs to serve G-d in his thought and emotions, to motivate himself often to love and fear G-d. How does one serve Him? By arousing his will to focus his mind and heart, to direct his thoughts and opinions so that his actions will be in accordance with the will of the Creator, which will bring pleasure and satisfaction to Him.
When a person understands … and then he meditates … he will realize – This requires a purposeful effort that may be easy for some, and difficult for others. But one who searches for these treasures should not abandon this goal.
A pious person needs to intellectually grasp the existence of G-d according to his ability, and he should mold his opinions and nature to be correct, which means that he is obligated to refine his nature. Positive Commandment 3, that Jews are commanded to love G-d, and to therefore call out to the people of the world to believe in G-d and recognize Him, quoting Sifri (on Deuteronomy 6:5): “Bring love of Him to all people, like Abraham your father” (Rambam’s Sefer Ha’Mitzvot). The commandment to feel awe of G-d has a logical basis and is a part of accepting and recognizing Him. It is included in the Noahide prohibition against blasphemy. (See Iggeret Ha’Rambam to Rav Ĥasdai (Epistle 24:1))
Included in recognizing and believing in G-d one should also trust Him. With this trust, a person must have faith that G-d is surely concerned about him, and about all of His other creations, and that everything G-d does is for the ultimate good of the person, since G-d is the ultimate good. One aspect of this trust is that each of G-d’s commandments will in truth be for the good of the person who is so commanded, and for the good of the entire world.
The main part of the service of the heart and mind is prayer. Therefore one should always pray before G-d, to make requests to Him for all of his needs, and he should thank and praise Him always according to his ability. Another goal of this prayer and contemplation is to bring the person to know that there is nothing worthy of complete trust except the One G-d, Who is King of the universe. Prayer, blessings and praise to G-d, even though they are not strictly required for Gentiles because they were not commanded explicitly in the Noahide Code to observe these things, are nevertheless an intellectual obligation.
When a person prays to G-d, he should clearly express his words to G-d with his lips in speech if possible, and not only in his thoughts (and this is a good deed). In a situation when a person is not able to speak for some reason, or the location is not a fitting place for prayer, he may pray in the concentration of his thought. A person can pray at any time of day, and in any fitting words that he chooses.
By Rabbi Moshe Weiner, Rabbinical Director of the Noahide Academy and Author of the Divine Code.
In order to study in depth the subject of prayer you may see our Online Course on Study and Prayer According to Torah.