Archive for the ‘Praises’ Category

 

Quick Prayer on Waking

Posted on: July 11th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Yellow_sunriseThis brief prayer borrows its intention and theology from modeh ami, the traditional Jewish prayer said immediately on waking up in the morning, echoes of which are heard in the second stanza. The prayer is another in my series of quick prayers. Here’s a related set of prayers called “Morning Blessings.”

Quick Prayer on Waking
G-d,
Grant me a gentle day,
A kind and a sweet day,
A day of light and breath,
A day of love and service.

Holy One,
Thank You for renewing me to life.
For restoring my soul to my body
And for returning me
In joy and gratitude
To Your gifts and blessings.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also: “Quick Meditation for Today,” “Quick Meditation at Noon,” “Your Name: Quick Prayer at Dusk,” “Quick Meditation at Night” and “Quick Prayer for Healing.” Here’s a short, short story about saying morning blessings called “Bracha Simcha.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Yellow Sunrise, Wikipedia

Modeh Ani

Posted on: May 19th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Shema_L_medHere’s a new meditation based on a line of Jewish prayer. I’ve taken the prayer said on waking up, Modeh Ani, and created a ‘loop’ by shifting and replacing three words: ‘soul,’ ‘love’ and ‘trust.’ As the verses progress, the first of these words moves out and the other two move over to fill the empty spot, with a new word entering in the last position. The loop completes when the three original words prayer reenter one-by-one until the line is restored.

Modeh Ani
מודה אני לפניך מלך חי וקיים שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה, רבה אמונתך
Modeh (modah) ani lifanekha melekh ḥai v’kayam sheheḥezarta bi nishmahti b’ḥemlah, rabah emunatekha.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my soul with love
Filled with Your eternal trust.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my love with trust
Filled with Your eternal hope.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my trust with hope
Filled with Your eternal kindness.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my hope with kindness
Filled with Your eternal justice.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my kindness with justice
Filled with Your eternal mercy.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my justice with mercy
Filled with Your eternal peace.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my mercy with peace
Filled with Your eternal soul.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my peace with soul
Filled with Your eternal love.

I thank You, G-d,
Creator of life, Eternal One,
For restoring my soul with love
Filled with Your eternal trust.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: I’ve used the same technique of shifting and replacing words in another prayer “For Devotion” which begins with the line “O Lord, open You my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise” (Psalms 51:17). This line is used to set the intention for devotion in prayer before reciting the Amidah. See also: “Affirmation of Faith” and “Gathering: A Dream of Reunion.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Source: LadyMama.org

Let Us Meet

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

healing-infused-sunlit-waterThis is a prayer of invitation. “Let us meet,” Ancient One, in the place where “Your radiance shimmers across creation.” Where is that? Everywhere. I use this prayer for day 34 of counting the Omer, yesod b’hod.

Let Us Meet
How can You hear me,
G-d of Old,
How can You hear my voice,
In the chorus of
Song and praise
Reaching toward heaven?

How can I hear You,
G-d of Old,
How can I hear Your Voice,
In the chorus of
Traffic and regret
Weighing on my heart?

Let us meet in the hills at daybreak.
Let us meet in my eyes at sunset.
Let us meet in my labor at noontide.
Let us meet in this yearning at twilight.

My life is a prayer.
Your whispers, a blessing.

Let us meet in sacred moments of holiness and love.
Let us meet in gentle moments of awe and wonder.
Your radiance shimmers across creation.
My words approach You, a song of delight.

Holy One,
Let us meet
In a heartbeat,
In a breath,
In a vision
Of Your holy mountain,
Where Your Word,
Where Your Righteousness,
Where Your Justice and Your Mercy
Blesses and sustains
Us all.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also a related meditation called “Invitations.” My other prayers about prayer include: “Prayers of My Heart,” “Whispered Prayer,” “Prayer for You, Prayer for Me.” “For Prayer,” “Prayer Released” and “To Pray.”

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 Credit: Roseedge.com

Va’eira: Your Name, Meditation at Dusk

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

“And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: ‘I am the LORD, and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as G-d Almighty, but by My name Adonai I made Me not known to them.’” – Exodus 6:2-3

From Torah we learn that we can begin to know and understand G-d through the revelation G-d’s Holy Names. This prayer is about naming G-d according to the blessings we receive. It appears in my book, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and  Prayers For a New Day.

Your Name: Meditation at Dusk
G-d of Old,
Your name is Peace.
Your name is Justice.
Your name is Mercy.

G-d of Life,
Your name is Compassion.
Your name is Love.
Your name is Hope.

G-d of Blessing,
Your name is Truth.
Your name is Wisdom.
Your name is Righteousness.

G-d of our fathers,
G-d of our mothers,
Your Name is in my heart
And before my eyes.

Blessed are You Adonai,
Your name shines throughout creation.

“Your Name: Meditation at Dusk” is © 2017 CCAR Press. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a prayer “For Prayer” that evokes G-d’s Name. My other prayers of praise include: “Dance Hallelujah,” “Sing Hallelujah” and “In Praise.” This prayer was first posted on July 14, 2011, as “Your Name: Quick Prayer at Dusk.”

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: TheTorah.com

Shemot 5773: Finding G-d

Posted on: January 3rd, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

“And the angel of Adonai appeared unto him in flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said: ‘I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’ And when Adonai saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush…” – Exodus 1:2-4

What does it take to see holiness in a burning bush? What does it take to see G-d all around? This is a meditation about waking up to find G-d. This prayer echoes the theme in another piece called “Seeking G-d.”

Finding G-d
Finding G-d is
As simple as
Breathing in
The morning air,
As simple as
Seeing
The light
Around you,
As simple as
Feeling
Your heartbeat
Fill your chest.

Ah, my dear ones,
Learning to breathe, to see, to feel
The presence of holiness…
That is the secret.
That is the journey.
How quiet and still,
How open and aware,
How ready and willing must we be
To see the
Extraordinary
In the mundane?
Before we can see a
Bush in flames
That is not consumed?
Before we take off our shoes
In the light of awe and majesty?

Finding G-d is
As simple as
Breathing in mystery,
As simple as
Seeing the radiance around you,
As simple as
Feeling glory fill your limbs,
And wonder fill your chest.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers about finding G-d include: “To Hear Your Voice,” “To Seek Your Glory,” “To Seek Your Love” and “To Know Your Word.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. 

Photo Credit: Geabler

After Writing a Prayer

Posted on: December 23rd, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Writing with InkHere’s a prayer to be said after writing a prayer. The intention is to express gratitude for the ability to be of service to G-d and to humankind by writing a prayer. Here’s a link to a companion piece called “Before Writing a Prayer.”

After Writing a Prayer
Thank you for this gift,
G-d of Old,
For this moment of blessing,
For this moment of bringing prayer
Into Your world.

Help me to remember that You
Are the Author of all things,
The First and the Last,
The One who created the Universe
With Your Word.

Bless me with humility and compassion,
With understanding and with love,
So that I can continue to serve You
And Your People,
In the name of holiness and healing.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.  All rghts reserved.

Postscript: Prayers about prayer is a recurring theme in my work, including: “Invitations,” “Prayers of My Heart,” “Whispered Prayer,” “Prayer for You, Prayer for Me,” “For Prayer,” “Prayer Released” and “To Pray.” And here are four related prayers: “For Devotion,” “For Humility,”“For Joy” and “For Service.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Living a Life of Writing

Thanksgiving Meditation

Posted on: November 18th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

img_0719Here’s a meditation to be used when gathered with friends and family at the Thanksgiving table. This prayer appears in my book, This Grateful Heart, from CCAR Press. Here’s a link to more Thanksgiving prayers.

Meditation at the Thanksgiving Table
G-d on high,
What an abundance of gifts
Arrayed before us.
Food, family, friends.
Your bounty and grace.

Let us remember those in need,
And those who are also present here in silence:
The fruit and vegetables picked by migrant workers.
The fields planted and picked by underpaid laborers
In the cold rain and blazing sun.
The clothing made by children in factories,
Modern day slaves indentured by poverty.

Let me remember those who suffer daily
Alone and in fear.
Perhaps someone at this table or in a home nearby
Is nursing a broken heart,
Or hiding the secret of addiction, violence, trauma or pain,
Someone whose sorrows and losses are judged and shunned
By our neighbors and our society.

Let this day be the beginning of a deeper love for all beings.
Let this day be the beginning of healing for all creatures.
Let this day be the foundation of service to Your world.
Let this moment be for rejoicing in all Your gifts.

Thank you,
G-d on High,
For the gifts placed before us:
The awareness of suffering and
The opportunity to heal,
The abundance in our lives and
Your call to share these riches
In love.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: See also “Life as a Banquet,” “An Amazing Life” and “Giving Thanks.” Here’s a link to more Thanksgiving Day prayers.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Sexton Farms

Before Writing a Prayer

Posted on: November 14th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Writing with InkHere’s a prayer to be said before writing a prayer. The intention is to achieve the kavanah, the spiritual mindset, necessary to serve G-d by writing a prayer.

Before Writing a Prayer
Ancient One,
Rock of Israel,
With joy and with gratitude,
With humility and love,
I approach the sacred work
Of putting voice to Your people’s prayers.

Only You know the depth of our love,
The sound of our yearning,
The music of longing,
The song of our hope,
And the thunder in our grief.

G-d of Old,
Give me the words that will open
Your People’s hearts to You,
The words that will open
Our hearts to each other,
The words that will open
Our hearts to healing the world.
And give me the words,
Holy One,
That will open Your heart
To us.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Prayers about prayer is a recurring theme in my work, including: “Invitations,” “Prayers of My Heart,” “Whispered Prayer,” “Prayer for You, Prayer for Me,” “For Prayer,” “Prayer Released” and “To Pray.” And here are four related prayers: “For Devotion,” “For Humility,”“For Joy” and “For Service.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo credit: Living a Life of Writing

 

Invitations

Posted on: October 24th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Listen ChineseWhat is prayer? Perhaps it’s an invitation to holiness and healing, bending the light from heaven toward tikkun olam. This is a meditation on prayer, a favorite topic of my work, including: “Prayers of My Heart,” “Whispered Prayer” and “Prayer for You, Prayer for Me.”

Invitations
Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.
Blessings float gently around you.
Your prayers set them free.

Oh, you hidden delight of heaven.
Oh, you secret gift of G-d.
Welcome you majesty and splendor.

Prayers are invitations,
Beckoning holiness and awe,
Radiance and wonder,
To join in this moment,
Summoning compassion and grace,
Healing and hope,
To spread their wings.

Quiet now.
Listen to the blessings from the earth
And the prayers in the wind.
They yearn for you,
Calling out
To join in the chorus.
Breathe and sing out
With your spirit and your voice.

Oh, you hidden delight of heaven.
Oh, you secret gift of G-d.
Welcome you majesty and splendor.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers about prayer include: “For Prayer,” “Prayer Released” and “To Pray.”

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 Credit: Sim Global Education

Affirmation of Faith

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Shema ShirtThis is an affirmation of faith built around the sine qua non of Jewish affirmations: the Shema. It can be used many ways, such as a conversion ceremony or as a meditation before a bar or bat mitzvah. I’ve also included it in my liturgy for Yom HaShoah. This piece appears in my book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Affirmation of Faith

Hear O Israel,

The covenant we made
Together on Sinai
Is a pledge for all time,
A vow for the ages,
To do and to listen
To teach and to learn
With the fullness of our hearts
From the depths of our souls
And the strength of our being
Binding ourselves to

Adonai Our G-d

With Torah and Mitzvot,
Binding our lives to each other
With righteousness and charity,
So that blessings will rain down from heaven
To feed our hearts and fill our land
With G-d’s abundant gifts,
The brilliance and wonder
That flow from service to G-d’s Holy Word,
In remembrance of creation
And our liberation from slavery,
Declaring throughout the generations:

G-d is One,

G-d is One,
G-d is One.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃‎

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: Here’s a link to a meditation called “Doubt,” representing a radically different approach to finding faith. I wrote this prayer after my friend Roberta asked if I had a prayer she might use as part of reaffirming her conversion after 30 years. I was taught that conversion is the result of the soul’s recognition of itself as having been present on Sinai during revelation. So conversion is the process of education and action to manifest a pre-existing truth. So why would a prayer of affirmation make reference to the conversion itself? Shouldn’t it be a prayer that any Jew can use, in joy or in grief, whether to affirm faith 30 years post-conversion or 30 seconds after a tragedy?

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 Credit: Hebrew TShirts

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6