Welcome to my blog. I liked blogging, and while the family blog didn’t float, I thought I’d make one of my own and try again. I am looking forward to writing you weekly again, and maybe, I’ll do Elul through the blog too. I’ll probably write on Jewish issues, but not exclusively. This blog is my place – to write my thoughts, ideas, opinions, whatever. I’m open to suggestions, though. If you have an idea, or a topic you’d like me to write about – just let me know.
Today, I thought I’d write about the way I pray. I try for 3 times a day (although usually manage only 1 or 2) and say a number of different prayers in my head, with just my lips moving. It worked for Hannah, it’ll work for me. I say the prayers I learned over my life – prayers of gratitude and surrender, request and admiration. These are the words that I hope will guide my life, my choices and my decisions on a moment by moment basis. I say them. I try to believe them. I try to enact them. I pray God helps.
Sometimes, when I am full up with feelings, I can’t pray. I just am too angry, or too scared – or even too happy, although more rarely. My ability to quiet my mind and repeat words, whether self-chosen or traditional, is low. It is, in fact, non-existent. So, then I scream out my prayers, with tears on my face. They become incoherent expressions of emotion, broken bits of words and sentences, gestures of futility or anguish, jumps for joy. They become much less controlled – and I’m more easily distracted.
“Oh, I didn’t have time to pray today,” I say to myself. “I was too busy.” It’s not true, though. I’m always too busy. That’s why I pray when I walk or shower, when I wait at stop lights or fold the laundry. So, sometimes I get my prayer out through gritted teeth, forcing myself to string together the bits of words and sentences, interrupting the flow of emotion to repeat formulas that may sound meaningless, but will – I know because I’ve done this – eventually bring consolation and quiet, and enable me to find a path through the anger and frustration, the futility and anguish, the craziness and overwhelmed excitement and to being able to pray freely again. Sometimes, I need to talk about it first – scream at God and at people, write, do breathing exercises – whatever it takes. Eventually, though, it comes back to prayer, to asking God for that help – and when I ask for help praying, I often get an answer.
May God be with me and with you always when we pray.