In the fall, as part of a liturgist/scholar-in-residence Shabbat, I had the pleasure leading a prayer writing workshop with students at United Hebrew Congregation, St. Louis. After talking about Jewish worship, the students worked in teams to write new prayers using an interactive, game-based process. Here’s some of what the students wrote. I added line breaks, capitalizations and some of the punctuation. The words are exactly as written by the students.
From Paige, Zacharia, Noah, Emily, Maxwell, Adam and Josh
Praise Adonai, our God,
Sovereign of the Universe!
Blessed is the eternal flame of life
And the holy spirit of Israel.
We cherish Your guidance
And proclaim Your holiness.
Thank you, God,
For healing our hearts
And wiping away our tears of sorrow.
Help us with guidance and forgiveness,
While pushing away hatred and slander.
Grant us safety from war and protect our families
From Caleb, Spencer, Brian, Maggie, Kaley, Jacob and Russell
I regret running from responsibility.
And answer my prayer.
May Adonai help us climb from darkness and sorrow
And bless us with rebirth of mind.
Ruler of the Universe,
Heal my friend.
Heal my loved ones.
Provide my family with food.
Forgive our sins.
Heal and serve all, kindly.
Allow our happiness.
Allow my apologies.
God of all the Universe,
We give thanks for You.
Grant us happiness, life and Torah.
And connect us with Israel.
© 2018 United Hebrew Congregation
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Postscript: Thanks to Rabbi Brigitte Rosenberg, Cori Neidenberg and the entire team at United Hebrew Congregation for a very special weekend. See also Guest Writers: Confirmation Students, Temple Beth El, Knoxville.
Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo Source: United Hebrew Congregation website