Prayer of the Gentiles
In "Portnoy's Complaint", there is a line that says something to the effect of that growing up, Portnoy could only see the world as either Jewish or goyish; no other categories were really important. I sometimes feel like I was born with the same affliction. As I reflected on this movie scene, I began to wonder whether G-d listens to the prayers of all the goyim.
We are always taught that the Jews are the chosen people. Quite a bit of parchment has been used up to discuss exactly how we should pray, the liturgy, the choreography. The right time of day, the thinking in G-d's head as He listens to our prayer. But the gentiles' relationship to G-d is always defined in terms of the Jews. Is that the only way they can relate to G-d?
Some of them pray to false gods - do they have no hope of their prayers being heard? What about those who don't know any better - are they like the unbaptized infants in purgatory? This concept bothers me because at a basic level, all these people are praying for the same things - health, happiness, deliverance. Will G-d answer their prayers?