Posts Tagged ‘pray’

 

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.
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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

Dance in the Sky

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

Bird DanceThis meditation began as a flight of fancy, exploring the image of dancing with our prayers and blessings in the vast open space of sky. As it unfolded, it evolved to take on echoes of Ma’ariv Aravim, the opening prayer of the Ma’ariv service following Barchu. It could serve as an additional or alternative reading between Barchu and the Shema.

Dance in the Sky
Let me dance in the sky,
With prayers and blessings
For the ones I love,
Raising these hopes
To the gates of heaven.

Let me sing among the stars,
With mystery and magic
For the holiness around us,
Raising these dreams
To the gates of redemption.

For there is music in the dawn,
And blessings at dusk,
A radiance of glory,
Carrying our voices beyond the firmament
To the One who created all being.

Source and Shelter,
You set the course of sun and moon,
Bringing on the evening twilight,
Calling forth time and space,
With majesty and wonder.

Blessed are You,
Soul of the Universe,
Summoning the heavens,
Declaring the reign of holiness.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also “Come Walk,” “Prayer with Wings” and “Rise on Wings: A Prayer of Borrowing.”

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: Arch20

Tzav: Fire and Ash

Posted on: March 22nd, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Fire and AshesEarly in this week’s Torah portion we learn about tending the fire on the sacrificial altar, both the manner in which wood will be kindled and added to the fire, as well the removal of ash, which is first set off to the side of the altar, but is ultimately removed to a clean place outside of the camp. Ashes, of course, will ultimately choke a fire. Here’s a new prayer for parashat Tzav, honoring the holiness of both the fire and the ash.

Fire and Ash
My love of G-d
Rises like savory smoke,
A sweet smell,
Ascending from the altar
Of my heart.

The fires burn.
Prayer. Healing.
Joy. Hope. Surrender.
Keep them burning.
Keep them alive and strong,
In the sanctuary of your heart.

Smoke will rise.
Ash will fall.

Let us carry these ashes
To a holy place.
They are the dust that remains
When we set our lives
A blaze with joy and passion.

Tend the fire in your heart
With wisdom.
Give it power.
Let it breathe.
Make your life
A tabernacle of blessing.
Your life will be as incense
On the altar of G-d,
Sweet and savory,
With the scent of glory,
Leaving holy ash
As a sign of your devotion.

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

Postscript: Please read these related prayers “Salt and Honey,” “Dust and Water” and “Fire and Water.”

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: Daniel Hardman’s flickr photo stream

Vayeshev 5775: For Humility

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

HumilityThis week’s Torah reading shows the maturing of Joseph: from a boy who tattles on his brothers, flaunting his dreams and his special coat, to a man who knows that his gifts come from G-d. He learns humility. This is meditation about living a life of humility and service. It appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below.

 

For Humility
G-d, give me a quiet heart,
A peaceful heart,
A humble heart.
Teach me to be gentle with myself,
So that I may be gentle with others.
Teach me to be patient with myself,
So that I may be patient with others.
Teach me kindness and gratitude,
Joy and humor,
Strength and forgiveness,
Trust and faith,
Openness, willingness and surrender.

To Praise, not to be praised.
To Bless, not to be blessed.
To Glorify, not to be glorified.
To Extol, not to be extolled.
To Sanctify, not to be sanctified.

So that all will go well with your People Israel.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Although I’ve selected this prayer for Vayeshev 5775, it can be said at any time and has particular relevance during the Counting of the Omer and the Hebrew month of Elul. This prayer first appeared on this site on August 4, 2010.

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 Credit: Courage for Life

Fire and Water

Posted on: August 31st, 2014 by Alden No Comments

SunsetLove and despair can be like fire. Truth can be like water, keeping the fires that fuel our emotions – the passions that make us human – in the proper balance. This is a quick meditation on love, despair and truth.

Fire and Water
One day
The fire of despair
Will sear your aching heart.
And when you wake
From this dream of death
You will feel a vital new organ
Beating in your chest.

G-d of Old,
Let the fires of grief
Lift me toward You.

One day
The fire of love
Will sear your longing eyes.
And when you wake
From this dream of life
You will see a vital new light
Shining from your face.

G-d of Old,
Let the fires of joy
Lift me toward You.

One day
The still waters of truth
Will sooth your yearning soul.
And when you enter G-d’s word
You will surrender to awe and majesty,
Holiness will fill your hands
With righteousness and charity,
Hope and peace will follow in your path.
And your life will shimmer with holiness.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also “The Cut that Heals” and “Witnessing: A Meditation,” as well as “Doubt,” “Fear,” “Anger,” “Shame.” Please take a moment to learn about my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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

Elijah, Revised

Posted on: February 9th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Elijah Beth FlusserThere’s a special kind of a hope, a kind of hope that opens the heart to our deepest yearning for a world of wholeness and love ushered in by G-d’s hand. For me, it’s captured singularly a song that we sing every year at the Pesach Seder and each week after Havdalah, a song about Elijah the Prophet. Elijah, our legend teaches, will announce the coming of the messianic age.

This is an expansion and revision of a prayer by the same name for use in my new book, Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings. The original was a short and simple six-line acrostic spelling Elijah with the first letter of each line. This version deepens the image of a messianic age and, in the third stanza, makes reference to I Kings 18:37 and I Kings 19:11-13.

Elijah
Eternal One,
Hear our cause!
Love and gladness,
Hope and salvation,
Israel restored,
The world redeemed,
Righteousness and mercy in an age of peace.

We are ready for healing.
Nations dream of justice,
While communities yearn for wisdom.
Leaders search for guidance,
While people seek hope and comfort,
Solace and rest.

Answer us, O God, answer us.
For You are not in the wind,
Nor in the shattering rocks.
You are not in the earthquake,
Nor the raging fire.
You are the still, small voice.

Ancient One,
God of our fathers and mothers,
Let us hear Your voice
Resound from Your holy mountain
As in the days of old.
Send us Your messenger,
Elijah, prophet among prophets,
To announce the time of blessing and wisdom,
To herald the return of holiness,
To proclaim Your world to come.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to another Passover meditation, “The Season of Freedom.” Click for a full annotated list of meditations and readings for Pesach.

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 Credit: Beth Flusser on Haggadot.com

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

For the Gift of Music, In Memory of Lou Reed

Posted on: October 28th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Lou_reedMy prayer “For the Gift of Music,” reposted today in memory of Lou Reed. Here’s a favorite: “A Walk on the Wild Side.” This prayer from my series on creativity, a short and sweet one about music with a different focus than “For the Gift of Song.” That post explains the common structure of these prayers. To listen, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

For the Gift of Music
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of music,
For horn and flute,
For strings and drums,
For crescendo and staccato,
For the gift that gives our spirits a divine voice.
Hear this prayer for those who write music, arranging sound, seeking beauty.
Hear this prayer for those who play music, creating sound, releasing beauty.
Make their music Your vessel.
Let heaven pour joy and sorrow, love and loss through them
So that they overflow with Your most secret prayers for Your people,
Drawing others to Your blessings.
So that when we hear their music
Our souls turn back to You for shelter.
Together, we offer our voices back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer first appeared on May 12, 2010. Please check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Words,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.”

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: WikiMedia Commons

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