Prayer makes holiness as real and alive and present as starlight and thunder.
Posted in , Jan 25, 2015
Today’s guest blogger is Alden Solovy, the author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.
Once, in the midst of thunder and silence, I stood at Mount Sinai to hear the word of God. It was not a dream. Nor is this claim evidence that I’ve lost my mind.
It’s a belief widely-held by Jews of faith around the world: All of our souls were present at Sinai when God gave Moses the Law.
When we live and learn words of Torah–a term that includes not only the Five Books of Moses, but all of the texts Jews revere as sacred–we are living up to vows that we each personally made as we journeyed from slavery to freedom to nationhood. At the very moment of revelation, I made a personal commitment to live God’s word.
To pray is to remember. Love. Hope. Joy. Peace. In the rush of daily life, sometimes I forget these things. Service. Gratitude. Kindness. Surrender.
I forget that healing is available, right here, right now, for those who grieve. I forget that some people, no matter how hard they try, cannot find that healing.
Sometimes I forget to forgive. I forget to forgive myself, and I forget to forgive others. Yet, when I pray daily, I remember these things: compassion for self and others, and care for the gift of this world.
This is the secret that those of us who pray understand, the secret that can only be learned in prayer. Our souls yearn for God, whether we know it or not. Prayer opens our hearts to the Presence around us. It makes holiness as real and alive and present as starlight and thunder.
To pray is to know in my soul that God’s word is true. To pray is to remember that God is present in this moment. Awe and wonder surround us.
To pray is to remember that divine light is so close at hand, that this moment can be as powerful as the very moment on Sinai when God called my name. I pray so that I will remember who I am. I pray so that I will remember what God expects from me.
Alden Solovy spreads the joy of prayer. A poet and liturgist, he’s created nearly 500 new prayers. He teaches prayer as a spiritual practice and personal connection with prayer. The author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, he blogs his new prayers at ToBendLight. Alden splits his time between Jerusalem and Chicago.