Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Prayer for Prayer

With our rector on vacation and 12,000 miles away, our former rector [Harv Sanders] returned to the parish last Sunday to preach and celebrate the Eucharist for the first time in more than four years. He delivered a marvelous sermon; if you are on Facebook, you can read it here.

In his sermon, Harv mentioned those times when we feel like “prayer is like talking to the wall; it's as though there is nobody there to listen.” God knows, I have had those times -- times when I want and need to connect deeply to God, but just can’t feel God's presence.

Harv’s sermon reminded me of a prayer that I have printed and tucked into the back of my prayer book. I have it, thanks to Jane. It’s a prayer I treasure, when I can’t seem to find words or cannot seem to make That Connection.

I share it here, with all those others who sometimes may find it difficult to find a true place of prayer.

[I am also using the beautiful graphic that Jane used. She credited it as: Modeh Ani, prayer of thanksgiving upon waking up. Dvora Black, art for children.]

"A Prayer for Prayer"
by Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman

O My God
My soul's companion
My heart's precious friend
I turn to You.

I need to close out the noise
To rise above the noise
The noise that interrupts--
The noise that separates--
The noise that isolates.
I need to hear You again.

In the silence of my innermost being,
In the fragments of my yearned-for wholeness,
I hear whispers of Your presence--
Echoses of the past when You were with me
When I felt Your nearness
When together we walked--
When You held me close, embraced me in Your love,
laughed with me in my joy.
I yearn to hear You again.

In Your oneness, I find healing.In the promise of Your love, I am soothed.
In Your wholeness, I too can become whole again.

Please listen to my call--
help me find the words
help me find the strength within
help me shape my mouth, my voice, my heart
so that I can direct my spirit and find You in prayer
In words only my heart can speak
In songs only my soul can sing
Lifting my eyes and heart to You.

Adonai S'fatai Tiftach--open my lips, precious God,
so that I can speak with You again.

From Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, C.S.W., ed. Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders unfold the Strength and Solace of Psalms. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1994.


Blogger Freda said...

I've seen fragments of this prayer before but this is the first time I have seen the whole. Thank you for posting it.

8/07/2010 2:22 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for the feedback, Freda. The prayer is a great comfort to me in those times when I don't feel like my prayers are getting beyond the ceiling. I'm glad to know you treasure it, too.

8/07/2010 8:43 PM  

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