Prayer WallPost a Prayer
Inspired by the Jewish custom of placing notes in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, this wall is intended to be a sacred space for the sharing of personal prayers. You are welcome to post as many prayers as you like. We also hope that reading others’ thoughts will put you in the mindset of prayer.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches and I must make amends. Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends, so Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? I’m sure many here recognize the words of the late Janis Joplin on her iconic album, Pearl, released in 1971. Filled with memorable and wondrous songs such as Me and Bobby McGee, the Mercedes Benz cut was a mere 105 seconds long and was, in my mind, a riotous parody of prayer. Janis Joplin died before this album was released. Sometimes it is best to know what is not in order to know what is. For me prayer is not requesting of God a Mercedes Benz. Nor is it requesting of God a cure for an incurable disease. Realizing this helps me to know what prayer is to me, and, at the same time, what God is to me. I believe in God. But I believe very strongly that God is within me, within each person who allows God’s presence. God is unknowable. The internal God I have found is definitely unknowable, but somehow more approachable. I can commune with my internal God, and I can pray with that God. I pray to my God in abstract ways. I look to God to help me find ways to cope with life, with it’s inevitable trials and tribulations; with illness, death and tragedy. I rely on my relationship with God to help me deal with adversity and with conflict; to help me understand and confront life. In prayer I strive to forge relationships with others, with nature, with beauty and with abstraction. Martin Buber described the I-Thou relationship as a concept enabling communication with the world and people around us. I-Thou moments are fleeting, impossible to control and unpredictable, but they are incredibly intense and rich. They may occur at any time, but I have learned that certain environments and a certain state of mind may precipitate these moments. Prayer is one of these opportunities. Often, when at services at Chizuk Amuno,, stimulated by this beautiful space, surrounded by community and friends and moved by the inspiring melodies of the Hazzan and choir, I find myself flashing into an I-Thou moment. When these moments envelop me, I feel an intense relationship with my God. At these times, the compelling thoughts which overcome me are humanistic ideals. I hope to find goodness in these moments and to concentrate on the values of life that I know are paramount. Values such as kindness, positivity, sensitivity, love, generosity and extreme gratitude. When these feelings gush forth, I know I am in a state of supplication where the ultimate truth of such values is overwhelming. So my prayer is not about asking for goods, such as that Mercedes Benz, but about seeking goodness. Seeking these moments and hoping they guide my actions in everyday life is the essence of my prayer. Seeking my God and hoping to find the goodness that is God is my prayer; for me and for all of us.
We pray for peace. Short of peace, we pray for calm. We lament that the promise of peace for Israel and her neighbors is not yet fulfilled. We stand in solidarity and hope with the people of Israel, for we and they are family, their story ours. We pray, too, that our Diaspora lives provide support to all the citizens of Israel. With Israel, we grieve the loss, pain, and human suffering in this war. We feel it for each of the 64 Israel Defense Force soldiers killed and the many wounded, for their families, for the 3 Israelis civilians killed, and for all in Gaza who mourn their losses of children and loved ones. We regret the circumstances that compelled Israel to fight. The world sees suffering without a context of who’s who and why there’s a struggle. We do not. Still, we seek to uphold our vision of goodness overcoming terror’s evil and respect for people replacing hatred. God, our prayer seeks blessing for the State of Israel, and for the whole of the Jewish people. May the day soon come that the land will know peace and there will be fullness of joy for all who live there. If not yet peace, may this hope be our comfort. Amen.
Prayerful wonder: how could life in this grand and glorious world be worthy of its beauty and mystery if who we are is of little consequence? We need this awareness. Created in God's image, who we are matters. What we do matters. How we do it matters, too.
We give thanks for the great wonder of God’s creation, for the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon, and for the beauty of your universe with which we are blessed. We are thankful our lives, for the brilliant moments of joy which allow us to soar as the birds, and even for the anguish and pain which somehow seem to precipitate inner growth and change. For all these things, God, we are grateful. Especially, we give thanks for being human beings, blessed, among all the fruits of God’s creation, with minds to reason and seek truth and justice; with souls which can feel pain, ecstasy and compassion, and for the freedom to choose life and goodness over cruelty and destruction; and for our hearts which can love and care and reach out to touch the hearts of our brothers and sisters as together we walk through the years of our lives. -Siddur Vetaher Libenu, adapted
We pray that the State of Israel, the dawn of our people's redemption, experience security and peace. May the light of our tradition's ideals guide Israel's people and leaders. May those who defend our people's historic homeland find strength, courage, and humanity in their task. May Israel and her neighbors know peace. Amen.
May we see on every day what we usually don't. May we find the goodness and purpose we seek in our daily efforts. May God's presence sustain us when we struggle and humble us when we rejoice. What we miss today, may we see tomorrow.
Joined in community on Shabbat, we come before God’s presence in prayer and reflection, and for celebration. We seek joy and goodness, as we bring to mind the circumstances of our lives and the condition of our world.
We know that our happiness is greater when shared with others. Our troubles seem smaller when shared with others, as well. May we never be too selfish to give, nor too proud to receive, for in giving and receiving we discover God.
Celebrating Shabbat motivates us to fill our days with deeper awareness and gratitude, thankful for the blessings of our lives and grateful for the challenges we face.
I pray to be able overcome disappointment. I pray to accomplish something new. I'm thankful to family and friends for their support, and grateful to God for the promise of a new beginning at this Passover season. Amen.