Posts Tagged ‘prayers of hope’

 

Peace Will Come

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

This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press. This Joyous Soul offers a bridge between the language of traditional prayer and the language of personal experience. “Peace Will Come” reflects the yearning in the Amidah ending verse, oseh shalom. Read the title piece from This Joyous Soul by clicking here.

Peace Will Come
Peace will come,
Through the grace of G-d
And the actions of humanity:
Compassion and kindness,
Forgiveness and love,
Patience and gratitude,
Justice and mercy,
Empathy and understanding,
Each act a yearning,
Each deed a longing,
For wholeness and tranquility
In our world.

You who makes peace in the highest heavens,
Guide our hearts and our hands
In service to each other and Your world,
To bring peace to all the nations of the earth,
All people, everywhere.

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

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Postscript: CCAR Press is now taking pre-publication orders of This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient YearningsIt is a natural outgrowth of my first CCAR Press volume, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day, which provides prayers and meditations for the days and seasons of our lives.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.” 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: Alden Solovy

You without Peace

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

Here’s a meditation for those who yearn to find G-d’s blessings, but cannot let them in. I’m reminded of a comment at Limmud Vancouver 2018: “We fear that we won’t find G-d. But what we fear, even more, is that we will.”

You without Peace
Oh you without peace,
Who yearn for G-d’s blessings
But push them away,
Feeling their presence
And blocking their arrival,
Hoping for grace
Without gracing the hope
Of holy communion,
Of blessings and wonder,
Know this:

Your heart is beautiful.
Your love is pure.
Your longing sings with truth.
Your journey is righteous,
Your path is lonely,
And G-d yearns for you
To keep searching
For the holiness and light
That surround us all.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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: NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Collection

Guest Writers: Avi Dell and Ze’eva Berman

Posted on: March 16th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This is a mash-up of two prayers written in my “Introduction to Creative Liturgy” class at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem. Ze’eva Berman (cantorial) and Avi Dell (rabbinical) are first-year students there. The first in-class assignment was to write a prayer for a moment of personal challenge. After hearing the prayers separately, I asked them to read the prayers together, alternating between them line-by-line. It fit. Afterward, Avi and Ze’eva reworked the combined prayer slightly, using it in student-led t’fillah. To capture in print the feeling of hearing it out loud, the alternative verses are in standard type (Ze’eva) and italics (Avi). This post is part of new addition to this space: occasionally featuring guest writers.

Untitled
I feel shaken and I feel scared.
Spiritual awakening is at your door.

I don’t know what will happen
And I don’t know how it will feel.
Cling not to whom you were before.

Stay with me through my grief, my joy, my emptiness.
Steady me with your constant presence of love.

Knowing that in your final scene,
You deserve to be anywhere but in-between.

© Ze’eva Berman and Avi Dell. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: Read the prayer of my first Guest Writer, Eliza Scheffler, also an HUC-JIR student, by clicking here, and my second guest writers, pupils at Temple Beth Jacob, Concord, NH, by clicking here.

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: DevPolicyBlog

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

For Jewish Unity

Posted on: December 11th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

This prayer, by design, is naïve, which is the source of its simplicity and optimism. Contrast it with a prayer with a similar theme, “Jew against Jew,” which begins from a more realistic assessment of the animosities that exist – especially here in Israel – among the various branches of Jewish practice and halachic observance. Here’s a prayer clebrating Jewish diversity, “Be’chol Lashon: In every Tounge.”

For Jewish Unity
May it be Your will,
Adonai our G-d,
G-d of our mothers and fathers,
To restore the Jewish people to each other
In wholeness and love.
May our differences in understanding and practice
Never be a source of sinat chinam, chas v’shalom,
Nor physical violence, chas v’shalom.
May our love for Torah and each other shine forth
From Jerusalem to the four corners of the earth,
Speedily, in our days.

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

Postscript: See also “Cornerstone” and “Messengers among Us,” two prayers that celebrate the expanding roles of women in Jewish life.

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: Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

Metzora 5776: Take Me Apart

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

Cleaning House - Scrubbing TileParashat Metzora details a particular form of leprosy that afflicts the mortar of a home (Leviticus 14:33-53). The home itself gets a spiritual sickness. This home-leprosy must be diagnosed by a priest. In extreme cases the mortar is removed, the stones scraped and some discarded. This meditation imagines a human being as “the house,” that we can be afflicted with an internal spiritual sickness that can only be cured with an inner dismantling and, even then, only with the help of G-d. Word choices are designated with a slash (“/”). This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Take Me Apart
Take me apart,
Bone by bone,
Sinew by sinew,
Organ by organ,
To reveal the lesions and strange bumps,
The fungus and the broken glass,
That blacken my veins,
That grind my joints,
That cloud my eyes.

I will take a knife and a wire brush
To scrape out the poison,
I will take rags and bleach
To wipe out the sludge,
Until my heart glows
And my soul shines
With the fruit of my own labor.

Only then,
Holy One,
When my flesh shimmers
And my spirit soars,
Reassemble me into
The man/woman/human
You intended
For me to become,
Clean and ready,
Holy and strong,
A sacred mirror,
Reflecting Your vastness
And Your glory.

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

Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, 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. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

Photo Source: SelfTalkSoulTalk

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

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: 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

Tazria-Metzora 5775:Take Me Apart

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

Cleaning House - Scrubbing TileThe combined portion of Tazria-Metzora deals with impurity, with reference to a form of leprosy that afflicts the mortar of a home (Leviticus 14:33-53). The home itself gets a spiritual sickness. In extreme cases the mortar is removed, the stones scraped and some discarded. This meditation imagines a human being as “the house,” that we can be afflicted with an internal spiritual sickness that can only be cured with an inner dismantling and, even then, only with the help of G-d. Word choices are designated with a slash (“/”).

Take Me Apart
Take me apart,
Bone by bone,
Sinew by sinew,
Organ by organ,
To reveal the lesions and strange bumps,
The fungus and the broken glass,
That blacken my veins,
That grind my joints,
That cloud my eyes.

I will take a knife and a wire brush
To scrape out the poison,
I will take rags and bleach
To wipe out the sludge,
Until my heart glows
And my soul shines
With the fruit of my own labor.

Only then,
Holy One,
When my flesh shimmers
And my spirit soars,
Reassemble me into
The man/woman/human
You intended
For me to become,
Clean and ready,
Holy and strong,
A sacred mirror,
Reflecting Your vastness
And Your glory.

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

Postscript: The house-leprosy is a powerful and useful metaphor for family dysfunction.

Please check out my ELItalk “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: SelfTalkSoulTalk

Renewal

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

IMG_9347This simple meditation is a reminder that making space for spiritual renewal is vital to a life of love and service.

Renewal
Make for yourself
A quiet place,
Beyond the noise and chaos,
A place of refuge and retreat
To renew your mind.

Make for yourself
A prayer place,
Beyond the fear and doubt,
A place of comfort and calm
To renew your heart.

Make for yourself
A healing space,
Beyond the shadows and grief,
A place of hope and love
To renew your soul.

G-d,
Teach me to use my moments and days
As acts of renewal,
Drawing your divine energy
Into my life
So that I may serve You
And Your creation
With the fullness of my being.

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

Postscript:  Related prayers include: “Quiet,” “This is the Place” and “All is Well.”

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

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