Oh, We’re Halfway There, OOOOH, Living on a Prayer

This summer, I spent a good amoutn of time grappling with Prayer, and how to pray extemporaneously. I struggled with this in the hospital, how could i reach patients if the only prayer I know is a set liturgy. And now, after moving away from the ability to open my heart each day with a personal, extemporaneous prayer, I reflect back on it? How can i mix the two together? How can they connect?

Prayer, what is prayer? What is it that I pray for everday? What are the prayers of my heart? The prayers that I desire to have fulfilled, to fullfill myself? What does my heart desire?

The liturgy speaks to me, opens my mind. I pray for Israel, I pray for peace, safety, knoweldge. I pray for the strength to make it through the day. I pray for health for my family, my friends, for those that I love. I pray for love, that one day, I willf ind it. That my love of Torah and Judaism will continue to be strong, to grow, to open my eyes to the world, to teach me and guide me. I pray that when it is Besheret, I will find my Besheret.

But, I always wonder, are these the prayers of my heart, or of my head? Are they what I truly want, what I truly need, or are they what I think I need? And, how will I know the difference? Does God know the difference? Does anyone know the difference?

How do I open myself to God, how do I reveal m inner most thoughts and feelings? How can I find the words to express myself, to open myself up to the world outside? How do I reach inside and find myself, find my true self, the inner me?

I wake up every morning and thank God for the fact that I woke up today. I am so thankful for the sun that shines on my face, for the warmth and beauty of the earth. I go to minyan and I pray- the prayers of my father, my grandfather, my ancestors. I pray the words they prayed. Somedays, I feel their presence, their wrods bring meanign to me. Other days, I feel empty, nothing to add, nothing to say. Some days, the connection is magnetic, I am drawn in, attracted and I can’t let go. Other days, I am like 2 magnets of the same charge, repeling, pushed away. Nothing grabs me, nothing holds me in. And then, what do I do? How can I connect? When my heart yearns for so much, how can I find myself?

Perhaps it is when I let go of the structure, when I let go of my fears that I am able to open up, that I am able to share all of my dreams, wants, wishes. When i sto trying and start believing. When I open my heart wholly to the world- maybe then I’ll know what I truly desire, what I need, where I belong.

May it be your will, great, compassionate loving God, that you continue to strenghten me on my journey. Help me to find my place, my center. Help tto strengthen those who support me, for without my supporters, I may not stand somedays. Bless me with health and happiness and bring both to my family and friends. Help me to know that I can do anything I put my mind to, but help me to also know my limits. Wrap me in your loving embrace and spread over me and those I love your shelter of peace. Help me to find personal peace- of mind, spirit and of HEART. I thank you for the gift of my life, and the gift of my family and friends. Thank you for the small miracles that work their way into my life- both those I recognize and those I fail to see. Open my eyes to see the small blessings of life. Thank you for the warmth of the sun, the beatuy of the land around me. Please God, hear my prayers, open yourself to me as I open my heart to you!

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One thought on “Oh, We’re Halfway There, OOOOH, Living on a Prayer

  1. Matt December 14, 2006 / 3:44 pm

    Beautiful, thank you!

    Like

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