The Shama Prayer is used in the oldest of our Culdee Christian liturgies, and is today in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (also used by Roman Catholics) as part of the Eucharist. The congregation chants it before the decaloge (or 10 Commandments). Some versions of the Prayer book, like the 1962 version, says you can optionally recite the Shama rather than reciting the full 10 Commandments. The Culdees consider it, together with the Our Father, as a foundation of Christian prayers. In any case the standard BCP liturgical books have in the preface that the Bishop can deviate slightly, including adding or removing some of the festivals, for the local needs.
Saul of Tarsus (Paul), Yahshua (Jesus the Christ), and all the Apostles prayed these prayers twice daily at the prayer times (or times of incense as mentioned through the New Testament). It is recited together with other Blessings (or together with the Our Father prayer), like Daniel prayed, facing toward Jerusalem at the Morning and Evening services, which is at dawn and sunset.
In order to prove that Christianity should follow these ancient ways of prayer, Paul went into the temple and offered sacrifices necessary for a Nazarite vow(see Acts 21:20-23). He taught that all should follow the law, although it is not a requirement that everyone has to first kept it all perfectly before being eligible for salvation. Good works come after being saved. Good works such as the daily prayers, come as evidence one has turned their heart to God and has become converted and saved. God helps us improve more and more as we daily seek Him, take up our cross and follow Him.
The Shama prayer is from the Bible and from Christ’s declaration below. It was was first instituted by the Patriarchs and formalized by the men of the Great Assembly, which was presided by Ezra the priestly scribe, around the year 450 BCE. THE GREAT ASSEMBLY OF THE 120 MEN OF ISRAEL INCLUDED: • HAGGAI • ZACHARIAH • MALACHI • MORDECHAI • NEHEMIAH • EZRA.
THE FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT
Jesus the Christ: “ THE DAILY SHAMA”
In Mark 12:29 Jesus quotes the First Century Hebrew
Prayer called the “SHAMA”, of Deuteronomy 6:4.
And Jesus said: “The First of all the commandments is,
HEAR O ISRAEL, THE LORD (YAHWEH) OUR GOD IS
ONE YAHWEH. And thou shalt love YAHWEH thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first
The full prayer from Deuteronomy 6:4 (in KJV):
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall
be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently
unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou
sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the
way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,
and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house,
and on thy gates.”