Cracking open the secrets of prayer
Prayer is for our sake.
Whether it is directed outward to the “Sovereign of the Universe” or inward to the Divine within, whether an song of amazement to the Creator of All Life or to
Prayer books, siddurim, were compiled to provide guidelines for when and how to communicate with God, but it is within our hearts to complete the action. Great emphasis is placed upon learning Prayer is a personal moment between a person and the Source of All.
We turn to God with prayer in good times and in bad. Its prayer that gives us hope when we feel all else is lost. It’s prayer that can put a smile back on our face. Prayer too, is as simple as looking up to the sky and acknowledging that God exists.
It is helpful for us to recognize our dependence on God for our needs. Life itself is a gift from God. Even when something bad befalls us, we should try to come to the realization that there are blessings in disguise and make the most of the situation. It is our daily prayers that strengthen our belief in God.
Prayer is man’s way of communicating directly with God. Jacob’s ladder gives us more insight as to how the connection works. In Jacob’s dream he saw a ladder with angels going up and down it (Genesis 28:12). The ladder which stood on the earth reached up to the heaven. We, man, are down on the earth and the ladder, our prayer, connects us up to God in heaven.
How can I crack open the secrets of prayer?
Begin with a prayer for a prayer
Adonai, sifatai tiftach u’fi yagid tehilatecha
May THE ONE WHO HEARS PRAYER
Open my lips to speak heartfelt praise
Ani tefilati– I become my own prayer of forgiveness
Wanting at first to return to the woods
Discovering that solitude must be complimented by community
Seeking not to return to the past
But to honor the path within myself, learning
B’chol d’rachecha da’ei hu.
to experience the LIFE FORCE wherever I go
I cry out
Where is THE SOURCE OF HOPE?
Min ha-meitzar karati Ya Anani b’merchav Ya
My entire being is in the narrowest confines
The LIFE FORCE shows me an escape route
I have no fear.
I can deal with any person, any challenge.
Mindful of the blessings received
Embracing the challenge
Awash in hope
L’olam Kivinu lach
I will forever place my hope in the SOURCE OF HOPE
Leading with my heart
Walking in life itself
I strive to become my prayer.
When no words of prayer come
We connect ourselves to those around us, saying,
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In that moment, we bind ourselves with bonds of love
to the souls of all the righteous of our generation.
Though we long to speak to you in the sacred language,
Our words flow only through our native tongue.
These prayers are truly ours.
My repentant heart fills with regret
I ask for forgiveness
When I cannot sense Your presence, I cry out.
When my words are blocked and my mouth will not open,
I prepare myself – just in case the words will come
Though I feel distant from You,
I continue to yearn for connection, forgiveness and acceptance. (c)2016
Gemar chatima tova and Tzom kal**,
Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi
**If you are unable to fast, please see the prayer on my blog for those who cannot fast