Thursday, January 22, 2009

speaking of prayer...


I've been thinking a lot about prayer lately. Below is a prayer by Rabbi Jack Riemer that has been on the lips of quite a few people in our churches and larger community...I think it's quite excellent.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end war; for we know that You have made the world so that all of us must find our own path to peace within ourselves and with our neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end starvation; for You have already given us the resources with which to feed the entire world, if we would only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root our prejudice; for You have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair; for You have already given us the power to clear away slums and to give hope, if only we would use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease; for You have already given us great minds with which to search out cures and healing, if we would only use them constructively.

Therefore, we pray to You instead, O God, for strength, determination, and willpower – to do as well as to pray, to become as well as to wish.

For Your sake and for ours, speedily and soon, that our land may be safe, and our lives may be blessed.

Praised are You, O God; You bless Your people Israel, and all humankind, with peace.

Amen.

3 comments:

Marty Marquette said...

I like the song "Life uncommon" sung by Jewel on her cd (Spirit)
"There are plenty of people who pray for peace >> But if praying were enough it would have come to be"
God's people are to be salt of the earth - action - put something behind the words we speak.

MikeT said...

I think perhaps one problem with our prayers is that we really don't care. We pray for war to end, but we don't know anyone would has been hurt by war. We pray for poverty to end, but we don't know anyone who is poor. We pray for disease to end, but we don't know anyone who is truly sick. I am a firm believer that prayer must proceed action and is sometimes the most appropriate action to take. After all, how would things have been different if instead of sending soldiers to invade Afghanistan we prayed for them instead? Jesus himself says in Matthew 21:21 - 22 "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

Cait said...

I really like the pic.