|The spiritual masters say that a person that does not spend time each day with themselves in thought and reflections is no person. In order to aid in that process we provide herewith for members and friends, prayers, reflections, thoughts and exercises for their devotional time.|
Read them slowly. Savor each word, ponder each thought. Apply them to your life. May you find blessing in their use.
O God, I thank you for this
Time of prayer, this precious
Opportunity of realizing Your
Presence, of laying before You
My desires, my hopes, my gratitude.
Of all blessed things this
Realization of our presence is
The most blessed.
For how empty would my life
Be if I did not have Your
Presence, if I were to lose You
Utterly in the maze of the
Worldly life, if I did not
Come back from time to time to
Commune with You, to get
The assurance of your existence and
How good it is to know that you are
With me in all my difficulties and troubles,
To feel that in you I have a friend
Whose help is sure, whose love is
–Adapted from the West London Synagogue prayer book
The Hebrew word for work and worship – avoda – are the same. What if we were to think of our daily work as a prayer to God and the Divine demand. Pray this prayer before the start of the work week.
O God, be with me in the turmoil
Of my daily life. Bless and hallow my
Daily work. Let me do it for your sake
And not for my own, as a task performed
In Your service and not as means
Of realizing only material aims.
Let my work be consecrated in
My sight as a way of approach
To you, an opportunity for
Ministering to my higher self, a bond
Binding me in sympathy
And friendship with my fellow
May I strive ever more
Resolutely to enable my daily
Work by integrity, by industry,
By seriousness of purpose.
Thus while I will reinforce the
Healthy activities of humankind,
May it help to fashion my
Own character and make my
Daily life fit for your scrutiny and
Save me from apathy and
Laziness. Whatever my hand finds to
Do, let me do it with all my might.
Open my eyes so that whatever
My work may be – however humble –
I may respect it and deem it honorable.
Give me strength to do it and
Wisdom to win its material fruits;
Let me not labor in vain
Nor let me bring forth trouble, turmoil,
I dare not make my work my _____;
There are still higher tasks and holier
Aims whose call to my energies is
But if it be that my rewards be
Scanty, if my plans miscarry, if
Failure follows my effort, then save
Me from despair.
Imbue me with hope and trust
And acceptance, so that I may cast
My burden on You in the sure conviction
That You will uphold me.
For You enable us to find good in
Every vicissitude and come riches or
Poverty, success or disappointment, Your
Purposes ever make our good.
–Adapted from the prayer book of the West London Synagogue
Remember when praying, no topic is “off limits”. God already knows everything that is happening in your heart, so you can talk to Him about everything.
Pray for courage when you feel afraid. Request the strength to face the fear, as a step towards maturity, instead of leaving the fear unaddressed.
When balancing your checkbook or paying your bills, ask for wisdom in managing your money.
Just before exercising thank God for your health.
Tend to react when you feel angry? Pray that you will develop the ability to stop, THINK and SEE the situation from the other person’s point of view before responding.
At times, suddenly inspiration and enthusiasm will come to a person during prayer. They will be able to pray with love and close deep connectedness to God. But then it disappears.
The Spirit came from above, in order to show him or her the path of connectedness in prayer but then it leaves them so that they will work themselves to reach this level of deep close connectedness.
–Rabbi Shlomo of Rhadomsk
The wish to pray is a prayer itself – God can ask no more than that of us.
Prayer does not change God, but changes the one who prays.
I pray that I might pray.
–Rabbi Chaim of Sanz
Loving God, save me from evil
Thoughts and bad dreams. Let my
Bed be a place of wholeness and
Peace. Help me sleep only
The minimum necessary for the health of my body.
As I go to sleep let it be with
Thoughts of wisdom in my mind
And feelings of joy. Let my soul
Be joined in unity with all the holy
Souls and ascend with them to
You as I sleep.
Help my soul to ascend to You
In peace while I sleep and return
In peace to my body when I wake up.
Let me enjoy good and sweet sleep: The
Sleep of life. Send me good, true, holy
Dreams and save me from false, vain and
Confused dreams. Let me lie down to rest
In goodness and awaken in Your love.
–adapted from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
O God, when I have food,
Help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
Help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
Help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
Help me remember those who suffer.
Help me to destroy my complacency;
Bestir my compassion,
And be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
Those who cry out for what we take for granted.
–Samuel F. Pugh