Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

For Devotion

אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶֽךָAdonai Sefati
“O Lord, open You my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise.” – Psalms 51:17

This meditation opens with the words of Psalms 51:17 which are used before reciting the Amidah to set the intention for devotion in prayer. Each of the subsequent lines builds upon the line before to deepen the intention. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.



For Devotion
אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶֽךָ
G-d, open my lips, so that my mouth may declare Your Praise.
Open my mouth, so that my heart may sing Your Glory.
Open my heart, so that my eyes may see Your Wisdom.
Open my eyes, so that my soul feels Your Presence.
Open my soul, so that my hands do Your Mitzvot.
Open my hands, so that my works glorify Your Torah.
Open my works, so that my deeds bear witness to Your Truth.
Open my deeds, so that my life bears witness to Your Justice.
Open my life, so that my spirit bears witness to Your Mercy.
Open my spirit, so that my days declare Your Holy Name.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are two more meditation based on a lines from Jewish prayer, “Affirmation of Faith” and “Gathering: A Dream of Reunion,” as well as related prayers “For Humility,” “For Joy” and “For Service.”

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2 Responses to “For Devotion”

  1. Betsy Fuchs

    I like the openings of this prayer open my mouth… open my lips… open my soul.. open my heart open my hands… open my works… the simplicity of this sequence is fantastic. But for me the endings are too directed. I want to be open in all those ways but open to the universe as it unfolds. Thanks as always Alden for you poetry/prayers.

    • tobendlight

      Thanks Betsy, as always, for your thoughtful responses to my prayers.

      The sequence is about doing G-d’s will. It’s about how I show up in the world. It doesn’t address how the world unfolds for me. It doesn’t close off the wonder, mystery and awe of receiving G-d’s gifts. Rather, it’s about what we do next. It’s a petition for the Holy One to open all that I am – my entire being – so that I can serve G-d, humanity and creation with Divine direction: with the guidance of Torah and Mitzvot, with the goals of justice and mercy. And the world will continue to unfold. I will continue to receive those moments – joy and grief, love and loss – exactly as they come. Then, please G-d, I pray, let me do Your will, not mine.


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