Posts Tagged ‘prayer for an open heart’

 

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

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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

How’s Your Prayer Life?

Posted on: April 15th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

How’s your prayer life? That was the opening question from Rabbi Marc Soloway in our conversation on prayer and new liturgy for his podcast “A Dash of Drash,” which you can hear here. We recorded it after a morning hike in Colorado’s Flatirons. My prayer life is uneven, at times strong, at times floundering, always strengthened by a regular prayer practice, which is the topic of my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer.” Here’s a prayer about our prayers lifting each other when we struggle.

Rise on Wings: A Prayer of Borrowing
Let my soul rise
On the wings of your prayer.
My heart, heavy.
My voice, tired.
My strength, fleeting.
My breath, shallow.
My sight, obscured.

Your voice dazzles,
Filling the space with radiance and majesty.
A sacred melody.
A call of the ages.
An echo of eternity.
A pulse of holiness.
A harmony of light.

Let my yearning ascend
On the rhythm of your song.
Let my hope soar
On the music of your words.
Lend me your courage and your thunder.
And when we reach the gates of heaven,
I will be witness to your mercy and love.

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

Postscript: This prayer first appeared on this site on October 11, 2015. Prayers about prayer is a recurring theme in my work, including: “Invitations,” “Prayers of My Heart,” “Whispered Prayer,” “Prayer for You, Prayer for Me” and “Prayer with Wings.”

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: Rabbi Marc Soloway and Alden Solovy in the Flatirons

Faith to Pray

Posted on: December 15th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Prayer Faith God StonesWhat does it mean to pray, knowing that our prayers may not be answered? People fall ill. Friends die. Bad things happen to good people. This new prayer about prayer is part of my answer. Careful readers will note that, taken together, the three stanzas allude to the V’havta paragraph of the Shema: “And thou shalt love Adonai your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deut. 6:5)

Faith to Pray
Grant me willingness,
G-d of old,
To pray with my whole heart,
Knowing that You will not
Grant my every hope,
Nor change the nature of the universe
To fulfill my deepest desires.

Grant me faith,
G-d of compassion,
To pray with my entire soul,
Understanding Your promise
To hear our songs and prayers,
Trusting that those prayers
Bring a measure of holiness into the world,
Whether or not I see it or feel it,
As surely as hatred and violence
Pushes holiness away.

Grant me courage,
G-d of mercy,
To pray with all of my might,
Turning those prayers into actions,
Using my strength in service to tikun olam,
To work with dedication on repairing the world,
So that my prayers become blessings,
And my days become a beacon of light and love.

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

Postscript: Thanks to my friend Cantor Sheri Allen, Congregation Beth Shalom, Arlington, Texas, for the conversation that led to this prayer. It is one of several prayers about prayer, including: “For Prayer,” “Prayer Released,” “Prayers of My Heart,” “Whispered Prayer,” “To Pray” and “All Returns to Prayer.” I’ve also written a prayer “Before Writing a Prayer” and one for “After Writing a Prayer.”

Tweetable! Click here to tweet this: “Grant me faith, G-d of compassion, to pray with my entire soul…” From “Faith to Pray” from @ToBendLight https://tobendlight.com/?p=13912

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Photo Source: Church of the Living G-d

Rise on Wings: A Prayer of Borrowing

Posted on: October 11th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Birds Flying at SunsetYour prayer lifts mine. My prayer lifts yours. But what happens when there’s no “lift” left in my own prayer? Does my prayer weigh your prayer down? Does my prayer become a burden? Not if you lend me your prayer with mercy and love. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Rise on Wings: A Prayer of Borrowing
Let my soul rise
On the wings of your prayer.
My heart, heavy.
My voice, tired.
My strength, fleeting.
My breath, shallow.
My sight, obscured.

Your voice dazzles,
Filling the space with radiance and majesty.
A sacred melody.
A call of the ages.
An echo of eternity.
A pulse of holiness.
A harmony of light.

Let my yearning ascend
On the rhythm of your song.
Let my hope soar
On the music of your words.
Lend me your courage and your thunder.
And when we reach the gates of heaven,
I will be witness to your mercy and love.

© 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer

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” and “Prayer with Wings.”

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

Vayikra 5775: Salt and Honey

Posted on: March 18th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Kinfolk_12_Salted-Honey-Pie-1The second chapter of Vayikra (Leviticus) describes the “meal offering,” a voluntary offering often given by those too poor to afford an animal to sacrifice. The meal offering must include salt, but must not include honey. There are a variety of commentaries on the prohibition against honey and the requirement for salt. Both clearly have power. Here’s a new prayer for the parasha, riffing on the flavors of life. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only).

 

Salt and Honey
G-d of secrets,
Ancient whisper,
Music in wind,
Heartbeat in water,
Soul of eternity,
You are in my breath
And beyond my reach.
You kiss my eyelids,
From beyond my sight.
You are pulse and rhythm.
The call of sunrise
At midnight.
The first star
And the last.

Let me bring salt and honey
To the tents of life,
To the tents of wonder,
To the tents of joy beyond understanding.
The salt that calls vitality.
The honey that calls love.
The salt that summons savor and essence.
The honey that summons heart and core.
Flavors of power and passion.
Flavors of holiness and rejoicing.
Flavors of longing and desire.

Hear my prayer.
Let me be coarse and sweet,
Savory and tart.
A source of beauty,
A source of delight.
And I will sing praises
To the unknown and unknowable,
The unseen and unseeable,
The untouched and untouchable,
The radiance that swirls around us,
The salt and honey that flows from You.

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

Postscript: Here’s a recipe for Salted Honey Butter and another for Brown Butter Salted Honey Pie.  Some other prayers and meditation that are based on the Temple, Temple service or the sacrificial cult include: “The Temple,” “Tabernacle” and “Stones of Remembrance.”

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: Kinfolk

Grouchy, a Love Prayer

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

im sorryThis prayer is written to be a reminder of love when love has been temporarily forgotten. It’s to be used when kindness and care have been set on the sidelines as the result of a bad mood or a bad moment.

Grouchy, a Love Prayer
Dear one,
Heart of my heart,
I am grouchy today/now.
I’m sorry.
It’s not my intent
To treat you with disregard
Or disrespect.
It’s not my desire
To dismiss you,
Your care or your work.
This moment, I’m not at my best.
I know your dedication and your friendship.
I know your affection.
I know your kindness.
Thank you for your understanding
And willingness to forgive.
Thank you for your presence.
Thank you for your compassion.

G-d of wisdom,
Help me to soften
My words and my deeds
So I may show up in the life
Of my husband/wife/partner
With the fullness of heart.
Give me the willingness to be gentle and kind
To myself and others.
Let me always see him/her
With the eyes of love.

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

Postscript: Here are more prayers about love: “For New Love,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner,” “A Heart of Love,” “Let Love” and “Finding My Beshert.”

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: Tumblr User tumblr18

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

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

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

The Cut that Heals

Posted on: September 15th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

healings-hands-heart By Marie FinneganIn the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall, on a sunny, breezy, Jerusalem afternoon, I saw a young woman wearing a deep blue shoulderless top reading an Israel guide book. She had dark hair, a lovely face with high cheekbones and eyes that matched her blouse. Her arms – from wrist to mid-bicep, all around – were covered with scars. She appeared to be a cutter, wearing openly the marks of her pain. She laughed with a friend as they planned their next adventure. The pain she made manifest on her body seemed completely absent in her manner. I left with the vision of a lovely woman barely in her 20’s, who had been through some sort of hell, enjoying a beautiful day. This is what I wrote.

The Cut that Heals
What if I opened my heart
Fully, completely,
Without fear or hesitation?
Would I overflow with
Joy with beauty with love?

Yes, my child,
You would overflow
With radiance and splendor,
With wonder and thanksgiving.

What if I opened my eyes
Fully, completely,
Without fear or hesitation?
Would I overflow with
Grief with loss with desolation?

No, my child,
You would overflow
With kindness and grace,
With awe and compassion.

What if I opened my hands
Fully, completely,
Without fear or hesitation?
Would I drown in the work of repairing the world
In the depths of need and despair?

No, my child,
You would rise up
With strength and wisdom
A well of mercy,
A beacon of light at the gates of healing.

Soul of the Universe,
I put my trust in You.
Open my heart and my eyes,
Open my hands and my life,
To the fullness of glory
And the mystery of creation,
Fully, completely,
Without fear or hesitation.
Lead me on the path of service
To Your Word and Your world.

Remember this, dear ones:
Love and loss are the same gift.
Grief and joy the same cloth.
Faith and doubt the same path.
The cut that wounds
Is the cut that heals.
When you rise up, renewed,
Tears and laughter will
Meet in the core of your being.
Grace and mercy will flow through you like water.
You will be a fountain of blessings,
A source of righteousness and charity,
And you will sing humble praises
To G-d’s holy name.

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

Postscript: Here is “Cutting, Prayer to End Self-Mutilation” and a prayer called “Witnessing: A Meditation.”

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: Healing Hands, Healing Heart by Marie Finnegan on Metta Refuge

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

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