Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prayer before writing a prayer

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As you know, I take delight in how many of Alden Solovy's prayers find a home on this page.  Alden writes To Bend Light: Prayers from a Jewish Heart.  (Readers will remember my recently posting his Veterans Day piece, "To the Soldier, to the Veteran.")

Today he offers us a "prayer to be said before writing a prayer." I'm especially taken by these three lines:
With humility and love,
I approach the sacred work
Of putting voice to Your People’s prayers.
On line here, on FaceBook and in email I often receive messages from folks asking, "How did you know I needed this prayer today?"  Well, I didn't know but I believe God knew - and so did the reader's heart. My prayer is always that the words I write give speech to what's in the hearts of us all at one time or another.  As I've written a number of times, my prayer texts sometimes come from my own prayer and experience, sometimes from that of people I meet in ministry and more often than not from a combination of those two sources.

Alden and I might have a fine theological discussion on the last words of his prayer here.  From my faith perspective, God doesn't wait on our words to open to our prayer but rather, like an open door, has a heart always ready to receive and welcome every prayer we utter - even before it comes to our lips.  But I'm confident that Alden and I share the hope that in the mystery of how God moves among us, somehow our work and words give voice to what groans in prayer from deep in the souls of all God's people.
Here’s a prayer to be said before writing a prayer. The intention is to achieve the kavanah, the spiritual mindset, necessary to serve God by writing a prayer.

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.
God 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 www.tobendlight.com.


 

   
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