What zechus did the Yidden have at the time of Chanuka with which to win a war against the mighty Greek army? Don't forget there were only a mere handful of Macabeeim, as most of the Yidden had become Misyavnim.

Several years ago I heard the following powerful answer, which changed my whole attitude to davening.

The Yidden did NOT have enough zechusim with which to win the battle, and they knew this.

Instead they did something extraordinary, they took out a 'loan'.

They turned to Hashem and cried out for mercy. They then went on to say "We understand

that we don't have any right to ask for this, but if You save us, we promise You that all Yidden around the world, for the rest of eternity will thank and praise You for this miracle." This zchus was more than enough, and as we know Hashem performed great miracles for them.

This is why Chanuka is all about praise and thanksgiving. In Al Hanissim we don't mention the miracle of the oil, however we say וקבעו שמונת ימי חנוכה אלו, and they fixed these days of Chanuka, for what? להודות ולהלל לשמך הגדול, to thank and praise Hashem for all that he did, to pay back the Macabeeim's loan.

There is a remarkable lesson which we can all take from here. Sometimes when we daven, we feel that we can't ask for something, be it a shidduch, children, parnassah, as we don't have the zechusim for such a request. We can learn from the Macabeeim and use this powerful zechus in our Tefillos. We say Modim three times a day as it is, why can't we have kavana for other things we receive during Modim, and then we can ask Hashem that in the zechus of this thanks giving, we should be zoche to all our needs.

as heard from Rabbi Yona Elyagon shlit"a.

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