Posts Tagged ‘prayer for children’

 

Before Calling Social Services

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

Social ServicesThis is a prayer for humility before taking a difficult step: calling a social service agency to report a neighbor, family member or some other individual perpetrating violence on others. Along with asking for wholeness and healing to be the result, this prayer also asks for an end to all family violence. Optional language and choices for customizing the prayer appear in [brackets]. This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.

Before Calling Social Services
With humility,
I prepare to take a step that may
Profoundly influence the lives of others.
The [violence / physical abuse / sexual abuse / emotional abuse]
Against _____________ (insert name of victim)
Must end.
The time has come to call [the authorities / social services / the police].
[There appears to be no other way.]
I do this with [sadness / fear / reluctance / shame / hope].
I do this in the name of safety and healing.
I do this so that justice and love may be restored.

Ancient One,
So many have suffered trauma inflicted by [loved ones/people they know].
Bring us to a time when violence and abuse are removed from our midst,
When friends and family treat each other –
Their parents, husbands, wives, partners, children, sisters and brothers –
With constant tenderness and steadfast care.
May this act be for blessing and not for curse,
For joy and not for sorrow,
For wholeness, consolation and peace.

G-d of Old,
Let your blessings rain down upon
All who suffer at the hand of family aggression,
All who suffer at the hand of daily terror.

Blessed are You, Source of peace.

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

Postscript: My prayers for mental health include: “My Depression” and “Mental Illness.” They both appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. A related prayer, called “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.

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. Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: National Union of Public and General Employees

Noach: Always this Wonder

Posted on: October 23rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Three_children_play_in_a_lagoon_formed_from_high_tide_on_Morro_Strand_State_Beach_at_sunsetThis is a prayer that our children remember pure joy of laughter and play. It’s a prayer that we remember our own innocence and love. After Noah saw the sea consume the world, he appears to have fallen into a major depression that he attempted to cure with alcohol, a post-traumatic response. The sea became a weapon. He lost sight of the ocean of beauty within. This is a prayer to hold onto enthusiasm for life. Here’s another Noach prayer called “The Flood.”

Always this Wonder
Dear children,
Go outside to play –
In the sunshine and the breeze –
And we will bless your hearts,
Your precious laughter,
Your smiles and your freedom.

Run wild…
Skip…
Twirl…
And we will pray that you remember
Always this wonder.
Then, we’ll remember our own
Care free days,
Our own discovery,
Our own amazement,
Our own joyous hearts.
And you will bless us
With the secret and the power
To discover sacred wisdom
And the sea of happiness,
The sea of joy,
The sea of love,
Waiting within.

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

Postscript: Here’s a link to a prayer for Parashat Breisheit, “About the Rainbow,” which could easily be used for Noach.

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: Wikimedia CommonsMichael “Mike” L. Baird

To Win the Peace

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

SONY DSCWith a ceasefire that appears to be holding, it’s time to pray an audacious prayer: a prayer to win the peace. It’s a prayer for security, an end to terror, the road to reconciliation, the path to hope, abundance and prosperity. The big fantastic audacious prayer: that we will be bold enough to try something different, living together, not dying together.

To Win the Peace
The missiles are silent, for now.
And sirens still echo in our hearts.
The tunnels are shut, for now.
And foreboding still vibrates from below.
Funerals on both sides of the front.
Fallen soldiers, buried.
And reunions. Grateful reunions.
Trauma and rubble.
Families grieve. So many lost.
We remember them all.
Three Israeli boys, one Arab son,
Dead at the hand of hate.

To win the war,
Let us win the peace.

G-d of All,
Bless the leaders of Israel
With a vision of safety and renewal for all in our land
And for all of our neighbors.
Grant our leaders insight and understanding.
Direct them on the road to security and reconciliation.
Make them a shining light of valor and hope.

Grant the leaders of Hamas the courage
To end their campaign of terror,
And grant the leaders of the PA the wisdom
To boldly travel on a journey
Toward an abundant and prosperous future.
Direct them on the road to compromise.
Make them a shining light of peace.

Grant physical and emotional safety to
Citizens, residents and all who dwell in these lands.
Through our hard work, let this time of struggle and challenge
Become a blessing to the world.

To win the war,
Let us win the peace.

Blessed are You, G-d of All,
Forging nations and peoples
In the crucible of change
Throughout history.

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

Postscript: Thank you to my friend Rabbi Bob Carroll for his review and comment on an earlier draft. Here are links to other prayers I’ve written during this difficult time: “Children of Gaza, Children of Israel,” “Yizkor for a Lone Soldier,” “The Soldiers on This Mountain,” “For the IDF, Operation Protective Edge,” “They Were Boys: A Yizkor Prayer,” written in memory of Gil-ad Shaer, Iyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, z”l, and “Another Boy Lost: A Jewish Yizkor for an Arab Son” written in memory of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.  I also wrote two prayers inspired by the thoughts and hopes of 14 visiting rabbis from the CCAR Solidarity Mission to Israel. I had the honor of leading this amazing group in a prayer writing workshop.

My prayer “For Peace in the Middle East” appears in a new compilation “The Hope: American Voices in Support of Israel.” Proceeds of the sale of that book go to the Lone Soldier Center.

Please take a moment to explore 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: Alden Solovy

Children of Gaza, Children of Israel

Posted on: August 2nd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

arab_jewish_boys.jpg.w560h384This is a new prayer for peace, a prayer about love, a prayer that sees the beauty in all children. For more than two weeks, people have been asking for a prayer focused on the children here in Israel caught in this war. It took longer to conceive than I expected. I hope you find meaning in it. It has a similar intention as my prayer “For Peace in the Middle East.” It also fits nicely with two prayers I wrote on behalf of the CCAR Solidarity Mission to Israel.

Children of Gaza, Children of Israel
Dear Children,
What can we say to you in times of war?
What can we say when you run for shelter, not for joy,
When you hide, not to seek, but huddle in fear?
No, it is not a game when you
Cry tears of dread in the night.

O grief,
O war and terror,
You have stolen our children.
You have stolen our rest.
And now you wish to steal our hope
In tomorrow.

Children of Gaza and Israel,
We pray for you to find each other,
In laughter and friendship,
Before someone teaches you
Anger and hatred,
While you are still pure with
Curiosity and wonder.

Children of Israel and Gaza,
We pray for you to find comfort
In the cradle of your mothers’ arms,
In the bosom of quiet and peace,
Without rocket or mortar to break
The gentle stillness of the air,
The lovely silence of the night.

One G-d,
Maker of All,
Is this too much to ask?
Is this too much to dream?
That one day all children of the world
Will run with glee toward one another,
Will hold hands together in delight,
To skip and twirl and dance
To the rhythms of peace?

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

Postscript: This prayer is very much “in the moment,” being focused on Gaza and Israel. I also plan to write and post a more general prayer for all children of war. My prayer “For Peace in the Middle East” appears in a new compilation “The Hope: American Voices in Support of Israel.” Proceeds of the sale of that book go to the Lone Soldier Center. Thanks to my friend Michele Chabin for her comments on an earlier draft of this prayer. Here are two more prayers about our children: “They Were Boys: A Yizkor Prayer,” written in memory of Gil-ad Shaer, Iyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, z”l, and “Another Boy Lost: A Jewish Yizkor for an Arab Son” written in memory of Muhammad Abu Khdeir. For more prayers about Israel, please click here.

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: Debbi Cooper Photography

My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

teen_depressionThis is a difficult prayer for parents and children facing a horrible set of addictions: self-injury. This can often manifest as “cutting” or a food addiction. I’ve included a broad set of self-destructive behaviors in the choices suggested for this prayer, which appear in [brackets] including alcohol, drugs and sex. This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds
How deep is the pain,
G-d of Old,
That my daughter/son/child
Commits acts of violence against his/her/their own body
With [food][a blade][alcohol][drugs][sex]?
I call out to You
From the depths of confusion and fear.
What balm will ease this suffering?
What consolation will guide her/his/their journey
Back to wholeness, to self-respect, to love?

G-d of healing,
Bless my child
__________________________ (full name)
With comfort and well-being,
Solace and relief.
Grant healing of mind,
Healing of body,
And healing of spirit.
Teach me to see her/him/them through Your eyes,
Eyes of love.
And teach her/him/them to see the world through Your eyes,
As a place of joy and adventure.

Well of Hope,
Grant __________________________ (first name)
The ability to be gentle and forgiving of herself/himself/themself.
Lead her/him/them to new ways of expression,
On a path to happiness and peace.

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

Postscript: Other prayers for mental health include: “My Depression” and “Mental Illness.” Each of them appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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: Swarthmore College Bulletin

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