Posts Tagged ‘self-improvement prayer’

 

Repentance Inside

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

582746main_sunrise_from_iss-4x3_428-321What does it take to internalize a deep sense of repentance, so that real change is possible? What will it take to be the man G-d envisioned when making me? This is from a series about internalizing G-d’s gifts, including “Egypt Inside” and “Forgiveness Inside.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Repentance Inside
This I confess:
I have taken my transgressions with me,
Carrying them year-by-year into my hours and days,
My lapses of conscience
And indiscretion with words,
My petty judgments
And my vanity,
Clinging to grief and fear, anger and shame,
Clinging to excuses and to old habits.
I’ve felt the light of heaven,
Signs and wonders in my own life,
And still will not surrender to holiness and light.

G-d of redemption,
With Your loving and guiding hand
Repentance in prayer is easy.
Repentance inside,
Leaving my faults and offenses behind,
Is a struggle.
In Your wisdom You have given me this choice:
To live today as I lived yesterday,
Or to set my life free to love You,
To love Your people,
And to love myself.

G-d of forgiveness, help me to leave my transgressions behind,
To hear Your voice,
To accept Your guidance,
And to see the miracles in each new day.

Blessed are You,
G-d of justice and mercy,
You set Your people on the road to t’shuva.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: Here are focused lists of prayers for the High Holidays: Elul, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers.

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 Commons

Let Your Heart Stir

Posted on: August 11th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Elul-Temple Bnai SholomThis three-stanza prayer/poem reflects the spiritual journey of t’shuva, repentance and return. The first stanza represents the month of Elul, when we are literally called to introspection by the sound of the shofar. The second stanza represents Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment that also heralds the joy and hope of a new heart and another chance to live a life of holiness. The third stanza represents Yom Kippur, when, after 40 days of introspection and one intense day of prayer and fasting, our spirits are renewed. Our hearts stir throughout these 40 days, but differently as the progression of themes and emotions lead us to new awareness, new behavior and new relationships with ourselves, with the world and with G-d.

Let Your Heart Stir
Breathe in the sound of the shofar.
Let the trumpet of our people
Be the voice of your heart.
For your soul knows the call.
Let your heart stir
And your eyes open, anew.

Taste the sweetness of the new year.
The delight of healing,
The joy of possibilities,
The pleasure of being.
Let your heart stir
And your eyes open, anew.

Exalt in the triumph of forgiveness.
Let the glory of repentance
Be the light of your days,
For your spirit knows the way home.
Let your heart stir
And your eyes open, anew.

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

Postscript: Here are links to prayers for Elul, prayers for Rosh Hashana, prayers for Yom Kippur and prayers for Sukkot.

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Be the voice of your heart…” A prayer: https://tobendlight.com/?p=8243

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Photo Source: Temple B’nai Shalom

Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem

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

IMG_0678This is a private meditation. That is, I don’t expect that it speaks fully to or for anyone but me. I wrote it several months ago, but it didn’t feel complete. The final thoughts came to me this morning during my run. I added three lines and rearranged the paragraphs. Some of these rules only apply to my life in Jerusalem; some only to my life in Israel. Perhaps this will change as the depth of my experience here grows.

So, if it’s private, why am I posting it? To encourage you to write your own “Rules for Being You” meditation. I’m glad that I finished this piece before Yom Yerushalayim, which is May 8, 2013.

Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem
Smile at everyone.
Or, at least, nod in their direction.
Some may even smile back.
Don’t take offense if someone
Simply looks away,
Or never makes eye contact.
They aren’t used to it.

Speak your truth,
But only when it adds love
Or a blessing to the world.
Live your truth always.
No matter what.

Before Shabbat,
Put a loaf of bread where
Someone needy can find it.
Say a quick prayer for abundance,
Yours and theirs.

Look at everyone as if you can see
Directly into their hearts.
Their hearts hold joy and grief and love.
Like yours.

See the best in everyone,
Even when someone chooses to show you their worst.

Smile at women with babies. And men.
Not for them, for you.
You are seeing the future,
And it is beautiful.

Say Shabbat Shalom to everyone,
Even men without kippot.
We all deserve rest and peace.

Breathe.
There is holiness in the air.
Malchut and Tiferet
Are within your grasp.

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

Postscript: If you write your own “Rules” meditation, please take a moment to share on this page what it was like to write it. See also: “Jerusalem: A Meditation” and other prayers about Israel.

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

Rhythms, Revised for Elul 5772

Posted on: August 17th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

This meditation is about contrasting rhythms of life, time moving in a straight line and holiness moving in circles. Although it can be said at any time of the year, it has particular relevance during the Hebrew month of Elul and on Rosh Hashana. I’ve changed a few key words to soften the language. Here’s a link to the orginial prayer, posted in July, 2010, and a list of more prayers for Elul.

Rhythms (Revised for Elul 5772)
Gracious and compassionate One,
G-d of time and seasons,
You’ve made a world of mystery and wonder,
A world of moments and millennia,
Clarity and confusion,
Illness and health,
Life and death.
Time moves forward,
Steadily into the unknown,
Steadily from the seen into the yet-to-be.
In Your wisdom, G-d of All Being,
Time also moves in cycles and seasons,
Carrying us from the holy to the mundane back to the holy,
A loving pattern of power and grace, comfort and hope.

Protector and Redeemer of Israel,
Grant me wisdom as my life moves forward through the flow of time.
Grant me strength as it turns through the circles of holiness.

Blessed are You, Holy One, who creates and sustains
The rhythms of our lives.

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

Postscript: Here’s a list of prayers for Elul, another one of prayers for Rosh Hashana, a list of prayers for Yom Kippur and one more for Sukkot. And here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers.

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