In My Distress
A new prayer of healing, recognizing that some of my dearest, simplest prayers appear to be unanswered. How do I maintain faith in prayer? My faith is in G-d’s promise, reflected in our liturgy, is to hear our prayers, not to answer them, or to answer them with my desired result. This prayer combines a piece I wrote about a year ago with one penned recently at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies while leading the Pardes Paytanim / Liturgical Writing Group.
In My Distress
I called out in my distress,
Who heals and loves,
What, then, is this prayer?
What, then, is my open heart?
I lay bare before You,
And You hold space for my grief,
For my sorrow and love,
For my confusion and wonder.
This life is a journey,
An uneven road,
Paved in light and shadow,
In darkness and daybreak,
So that when my footsteps falter,
I am drawn back to You.
I called out in my distress
To find the glory of holiness
I could not see.
The holiness that abandoned me.
The love I could no longer find.
You who hears prayer,
Accept my tears as expiation,
As incense on the altar of life,
As a guilt offering to the ones I love.
Let my trust in You never fail,
Nor my hopes fade,
For You are the source of healing.
The source of hope.
The source of faith.
I called out in my distress.
And my heart,
Prays for rest.
.ברוך אתה ה’, שומע תפלה
Blessed are You Adonai, who hears prayer.
Baruch ata Adonai, shomeah t’fillah.
© 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer
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Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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.
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