Posts Tagged ‘bless’

 

A Prayer for Dad

Posted on: June 17th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

Dad Me Key West 84081Here’s a prayer for Father’s Day, celebrating Dad’s passion for family and his role as a source of wisdom, inspiration and love. The photo is me and my father Jack z”l in Key West, where I became a father for the first time. Happy Father’s day to dads and children everywhere.

A Prayer for Dad
For our father,
A song of dignity and honor.

Guardian of mitzvot,
Keeper of truths,
Hand of protection and peace,
We are blessed with your humor and compassion,
Your zest for life
And your zeal for family.
You remind us to open our lives to G-d’s majesty and mystery
G-d’s justice and mercy.
You remind us to seek radiance and splendor,
Awe for creation and compassion for each other,
And choose joy over grief,
Laughter over tears.

G-d of fatherly patience and strength,
Bless our family with love
And our father with vision, endurance and hope.
May his devotion inspire us to righteousness and charity,
Guided by Torah.
Bless our lives with abundance
And our days with vigor,
So that we bring majesty and mystery to our lives
And into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of our fathers,
Who provides just and righteous men
In every generation.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: I wrote this prayer more than a decade ago as “For the Patriarch,” and it appears in my book Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing with that title. Our times, sensitivity, and the meanings associated with the term “the patriarchy” call out for the title change, as well as two changes in the text. Thanks to Hila Ratzabi and Adva Chattler of Ritualwell for suggesting the revisions.

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: Alden Solovy

Before Writing a Prayer

Posted on: June 17th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

Here’s a prayer to be said before writing a prayer. The intention of the prayer is to achieve the kavanah, the spiritual mindset, necessary to serve G-d by writing a prayer. Join me this summer for a five-week online workshop, “Ingredients of Prayer: Writing Contemporary Liturgy” hosted by Ritualwell.

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 tobendlight.com

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: Please consider joining me for my online workshop, “Ingredients of Prayer: Writing Contemporary Liturgy” Here’s a prayer to be said “After Writing a Prayer.”

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: Living a Life of Writing

 

Receiving Blessings

Posted on: December 29th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This prayer is my blessing for you for 2019. It’s about opening our hearts to receiving blessings. In this New Year, may we bless each other and be open to being blessed. This prayer appears in my new book, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press.

Receiving Blessings
Ancient One,
Open my heart to receive
The blessings around me,
Kindness and wisdom,
Friendship and understanding,
Tenderness and compassion,
Moments of holiness,
Messages from heaven.

Source and Shelter,
Why can’t I bless others
With the fullness of my being
With joy and thanksgiving,
From a hope for healing
And a pulse of love,
To fill the world with benedictions?

Rock and Redeemer,
Grant me the ability to see and to hear
The blessings around me,
A fountain of love
To fill my soul
With gratitude and courage,
With joy and peace.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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: The Poached Egg

Falling in Love with Prayer

Posted on: April 4th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

What is prayer? Perhaps an invitation to holiness and healing, bending the light from heaven toward tikkun olam. Have you ever fallen in love with a prayer? That’s the theme of my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer.” Please check it out. Loving prayer is a favorite topic of my work, including “Rise on Wings,” “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.” And here are four related prayers: “For Devotion,” “For Humility,”“For Joy” and “For Service.” This prayer first appeared here on October 24, 2012.

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!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: ELItalks

Ha’azinu: We Are Music

Posted on: October 14th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

music-notesIn this week’s parasha Ha’azinu (Deut. 22), Moses sings a majestic farewell song, beginning by calling on the heavens to hear. The Haftarah (II Sam. 22:1-51) is David’s Song of Thanksgiving. This prayer/poem is about embodying the music of life, hearing the music created when we move in and out of moments together. This piece appears my forthcoming book, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings, from CCAR Press.

We Are Music
Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

You are music.
Your breath and hands,
Your smile and tears,
Your eyes and pulse,
Are notes that dance
In the space between us.

We are music.
A symphony conducted
By the rhythm of life,
By G-d’s hand,
By our choices, day-by-day.

Our notes play on,
Separately, together,
The sacred sound of living.
Our music waltzes,
Making melodies fresh and new,
Never heard again,
Bass lines that pulse from our hearts
To the Soul of the Universe.

Joy bends sorrow.
Sorrow bends hope.
Hope bends grief.
Grief bends love.
Love bends joy.

Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

The silence is your longing.
The silence is your yearning for a different song.
The music of your own will
Blocks your heart to the harmonies
Already dancing around you,
To the chorus already singing around you.

Oh, you hidden delight of heaven.
Oh, you secret gift of G-d.
We are music.
We are music.
The music plays
Through us.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Postscript: While Moses calls on the heavens to give ear, this meditation calls on us to listen to our own — and to each other’s — hearts. This is my second meditation incorporating instructions to the reader into the prayer. The first is called “Invitations.” Both include this exclamation: “Oh, you hidden delight of heaven. Oh, you secret gift of G-d. Please see also: “Life as a Symphony,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.” This prayer first appeared on this site on Feb. 6, 2013.

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: Picks and Sticks Music

Being a Blessing

Posted on: November 1st, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Blessed-to-be-a-blessingWhat does it mean to be a blessing in the lives of the people around you? It means nothing less than listening – listening with your ears, your eyes, your heart and your soul – and responding to others with love and compassion. This is a meditation on becoming a blessing in the lives of others. This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press.

Being a Blessing
If you ask for rest, I will sit with you.
If you ask for comfort, I will stay with you.

If you ask for hope, I will yearn with you.
If you ask for love, I will sing with you.

If you ask for stillness, I will breathe with you.
If you ask for peace, I will dream with you.

If you ask for joy, I will laugh with you.
If you ask for healing, I will pray with you.

If you ask for warmth, I will become a blanket.
If you ask for refuge, I will become a shelter.

If you ask for help, I will become a blessing.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Postscript: Other prayers about blessing and being blessed include: “Be the Blessing,” “These Blessings,” “Receiving Blessings” and “A Moment of Blessing.”

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: Free Methodist Church in Canada

Quick Prayers

Posted on: September 8th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Quick Pray“Quick Prayers” provide handy, fast, easy-to-recite prayers for specific circumstances. Here’s an annotated list of my “Quick Prayers.” Click on the title to read the full prayer. They are:

Six of these prayers — including “Quick Blessing For a Past Love” and “Quick Prayer for Healing” — appear in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, which you can order here.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Tweetable! Click here to tweet this: 16 useful “Quick Prayers,” Easy-to-recite prayers for specific moments from @ToBendLight https://tobendlight.com/?p=13099

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: Alden Solovy

Breathe

Posted on: July 12th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Sky and LakeThis prayer is a simple reminder to breathe and the gifts that coming from simply being. It includes a space to include a name, yours or someone else’s, so that you can use it as reminder to yourself or as a hope for someone else. Six other pieces of mine include the instruction to breathe. Three of my favorites are: “Sing Praises,” “We Are Music” and “Invitations.”

Breathe
Listen, dear __________ (your name or another name),
Remember to breathe,
Remember to fill your chest
With the sweet taste of living,
To fill your heart
With a gentle gift of peace.
The breath of God
Surrounds you.
Let it flow through you.
The pulse of the universe
Beats with you.
Let it enliven you.
Invite your inhale,
The willingness of this moment.
Release your exhale,
And surrender to being.
Fill your lungs.
Feel them.
Feed them.
Heal them.
And you will know,
The majesty of now,
And the mystery
Of forever.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My three other prayers with the instruction to breathe are: “Choosing to Heal,” “Let Your Heart Stir” and “Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem.”

Tweetable! Here’a suggested tweet. Please tweet it (with link): “…fill your heart with a gentle gift of peace. The breath of God surrounds you…” https://tobendlight.com/?p=13239

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: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library

Emor: Your Name: Meditation at Dusk

Posted on: April 29th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Alden and the KinnertIn Parashat Emor, in one amazing line, we are given twin injunctions: one against profaning G-d’s name (chillul hashem) and the other to sanctity G-d’s name (kiddush hashem). This prayer is about sanctifying G-d’s name 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: This prayer first appeared on this site on July 14, 2011. I also used it for Va’eira 5773. The photo of me praying near the Kinneret was taking during the 2105 Tsad Kadima Hike for Hope by my friend Marc Render. Please check out “Quick Meditation for Today,” “Quick Meditation at Noon” and “Quick Meditation at Night.” Other prayers of praise include: “Dance Hallelujah,” “Sing Hallelujah” and “In Praise.”

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: Marc Render

The Gifts of Our Lives

Posted on: April 4th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Divine-Gifts-6129895This new prayer of gratitude includes an alphabetical acrostic. Acrostics were a mainstay of Jewish liturgical poems, known as piyutim. This piece combines the acrostic with a four-part structure that repeats in each of the internal stanzas, using the metaphor of G-d as “well,” “source,” “foundation” and “crown.” In an early draft of a prayer called Elijah, I spelled his name with the initial letters in each of the opening lines, but later revised the piece to broaden its scope, losing the acrostic.

The Gifts of Our Lives
With gratitude and appreciation
We give thanks for the gifts
Which flow into our lives day-by-day.
A river of divine blessing.

For You are the well of Abundance,
The source of Beauty,
The foundation of Courage
And the crown of Dreams.

You are the well of Energy,
The source of Faith,
The foundation of Grace
And the crown of Hope.

You are the well of Insight,
The source of Justice,
The foundation of Kindness
And the crown of Love

You are the well of Mercy,
The source of Nourishment,
The foundation of Our Lives
And the crown of Peace.

You are the well of Quiet,
The source of Righteousness,
The foundation of Strength
And the crown of Truth.

For You are the well of Understanding,
The source of Vitality,
The foundation of Wonder
And the crown of Years.

With gratitude and appreciation
We give thanks for the gifts
Which flow into our lives day-by-day.
A river of divine blessing.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Note that this acrostic is incomplete, it that I did not create lines for the letters q’ and ‘z.’ My other prayers of gratitude include several favorites: “Fresh Delights,” “Now,” “One Gift,” “Unseen Lands”  and “Sacred Cargo.”

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: Heaven Now

“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