Question: Your book revolutionizes our thinking about how the Old Testament patriarchs actually talked to God. If these ancient technological devices were truly used, does that mean we’ve been deluding ourselves with the spiritual belief that we can talk to God via traditional prayer and meditation?
RDI: It’s interesting that the word translated prayed or pray (pawlal) is found twice in Genesis and twice in Numbers in all of the Four Books. It is found twice in the fifth book, Deuteronomy, and that book was produced much later. It is not found at all in Exodus and Leviticus, books much more important to my thesis. Pawlal involved Abraham and Abimelech, king of Gerar in one story and Moses and the rebellious Israelites in another. But it is generally acknowledged that the actual meaning of pawlal is to intercede, not to pray in the traditionally accepted form. (To be exact, pray is used in one of the two times in the accepted way in the Abraham/Abimelech story, but that was in a dream by the king.)
On the other hand, pawlal as prayer is used as such many times in the following books.
This indicates to me that prayer as we know it was not used in the part of the Bible involved primarily with the Ark and the Ephod but that, when the use of the devices faded away, the people did much as we do today to try to reach God.
As to your specific question, while I have no way of knowing whether prayer is efficacious in reaching God, there certainly would be no problem with doing so. The problem would lie in God’s communicating with us. That is, if it is true that the Ark was reached through the dangerous radioactive cloud, if suddenly He were to do so today, it would be lethal to us unless we were properly protected. I have given many examples of the Bible’s clearly stating the necessity for the Israelites to be so protected under these circumstances.
But as to the results of our praying today, until there can be a controlled experiment that proves there is a definite cause/effect, I’m afraid the true answer will have to be left in limbo.
From an interview by Donna Williams of The Celebrity Editor