Posts Tagged ‘G-d’s gift of prayer’

 

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

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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

Umbrella of Blessings

Posted on: December 5th, 2013 by Alden No Comments

blessingsHere’s a prayer in praise of G-d’s blessings. Why? By remembering the blessings around me – the blessings around my friends and family – my sight becomes clearer. Small annoyances vanish. Core fears fade. The light around becomes radiant. Even sadness and grief take on a new form, a new meaning, a new form of holiness. This is a companion to a prayer called “Receiving Blessings,” a prayer to see and receive the blessings around us.

Umbrella of Blessings
G-d of mystery,
G-d of wonder,
Your word is an umbrella of blessing,
Your wisdom a canopy of holiness and light,
A shelter of awe and wonder.

Ancient One,
Let Your blessings protect the strong
And lift the humble,
They guard the joyous
And they support the grieving,
They guide the hopeful
And raise the downcast.

Your tent is the arch of the heavens.
Your drape is the firmament of sky.
Your blessings quench our thirst,
Feed the land,
Fill our hearts,
Bring hope and healing.

Blessed are You, Ancient One,
You cover our lives with an umbrella of blessings,
Filling our days with joy and thanksgiving.

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

Postscript:  Here are prayers with a similar theme: “Receiving Blessings,” “Garden of Blessings,” “An Amazing Life,” “These Blessings” and “Unlock Your Heart.”

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. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Source: Jen Martin Spirituality

Sing Praises

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Alden Writing Migdal DavidI wrote this song of praise in about seven minutes while making the Kickstarter film about my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. My videographer wanted a shot of me writing. Pretending to write a prayer felt silly, so I jotted down a few favorite lines, ignored the camera and let it flow. The lines are, essentially, instructions to the reader incorporated into the prayer: quite, breathe, listen. I use those same instructions in two other prayers: “We are Music” and “Invitations.”

Here’s what I wrote during the video. Since then, I’ve changed one word. The rest is exactly as I wrote it in the black moleskin notebook that you can see me using the film. The title came later.

Sing Praises
Quiet now.
Breathe.
Breathe and listen.

Listen to the prayers in the wind.
Listen to the joy on the breeze.
Listen to the hope in the heavens.
For love and life are yours.
Holiness and passion remain.
Wonder and awe
Shimmer from sunset to sunset.

This is the moment where love meets joy,
Where hope meets surrender.

What is that music?
What is that radiance?
What is that yearning?

Quiet now.
Breathe.
Breathe and listen.

Listen to your own voice.
Listen to your own prayers.

This is your power and your peace.
This is your pulse and your heartbeat.
This is your life.

Sing praises,
Sing praises.

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

Postscript: Please see also: “We are Music,” “Invitations,” “Life as a Symphony,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: Elahn Zetlin, Chutzpah Media, from my Kickstarter

Receiving Blessings

Posted on: July 31st, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

you are blessedThis prayer is about opening my heart to receive blessings. Why? For me, it is easier to bless than to accept the blessings of others. Even with years of writing gratitude lists, even though I know that life is a “Garden of Blessings,” fully taking in a compliment, a good word or a blessing is still a challenge, something I must practice. So, with this prayer I ask for G-d’s help in receiving blessings.

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 I bless others
With the fullness of my being
With joy and thanksgiving,
But struggle to be blessed?
To release my heart?
To take in these gifts?

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.

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

Postscript: Here are prayers with a similar theme: “An Amazing Life,” “These Blessings” and “Unlock Your Heart.”

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. Please take a moment to explore my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Photo Source: The Poached Egg

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

We Are Music

Posted on: February 6th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

music-notesThis prayer/poem is about embodying the music of life and hearing the music created when we move in and out of moments together. It’s my second incorporating instructions to the reader into the prayer. The first is called “Invitations.” This appears in 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: Please see also: “Life as a Symphony,” “Invitations,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.”

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

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

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

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