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Sticky: Post Your Favorite Prayer (Of Any Faith)
10 years ago  ::  Jul 01, 2008 - 11:56AM #1
Posts: 12

We here at Beliefnet are working on beefing up our Prayer Library with prayers from every faith and we need your help! Please post your favorite prayer--original prayer or one of your favorites from a sacred text or spiritual leader--and your contribution may be added to our Prayer Library which helps millions of people like you stay encouraged for the journey ahead.

Share your prayers!

Thanks in advance!
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2008 - 2:03PM #2
Posts: 2,795
We Can Not Merely Pray

We cannot merely pray to you O God to end war;
For the World is made in such a way
That we must find our own path of peace
Within ourselves and with our neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to you O God to root out Prejudice:
for we already have 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 starvation:
For we already have 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 end despair:
For we already have the power To clear away slums and to give hope
If we would only use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to you O God to end disease:
For we already have great minds
With which to search out cures and healings
If we would only use them constructively.

Therefore we pray instead
For strength, determination, and will power,
To do instead of merely to pray
To become instead of merely to wish:
So that our World may be safe,
And so that our lives may be blessed.

Rabbi Jack Riemer
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2008 - 2:06PM #3
Posts: 2,795
from the weekly havdalah service at the end of the Sabbath, which divides the holy Sabbath from the rest of the week:

Behold, God is my unfailing help; I will trust in God and will not be afraid. God is strength and song, my Deliverer. With joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation. God alone is our help; may God bless His people. God of the universe is with us; the God of Jacob is our protection. There was light and joy; gladness and honor for the Jewish people. So may we be blessed. I will lift the cup of salvation and call upon God's Name.
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2008 - 2:15PM #4
Posts: 2,795
this one is long. The prayer itself is not short, the surrounding reflection on it is from a post by 'Anna' on myspace (permission to re-post, as long as source is acknowledged). The prayer is known as 'u'netaneh tokef'. The post is 'Reflections on U'netaneh Tokef'. I think the whole thing is great. I hope it fits:

One of the most well-known (and haunting) parts of the High Holiday liturgy is a prayer called U'Netaneh Tokef, which was written about a thousand years ago by a German rabbi (from the city of Mainz) called Amnon. According to the story, Rabbi Amnon and the Bishop (some say Cardinal) of Mainz were friends, and one day the rabbi was summoned to his court and asked if he would convert to Christianity. (This was back when all Christians were Catholics or Eastern Orthodox, despite how certain repugnant fundies of today slanderously claim that Catholics aren't Christians.) Anyway, Rabbi Amnon said he'd need three days to think about it. But then, once home, he began to feel incredibly horrible about it; how dare he have said he'd even consider it? He should have stayed true and strong to his faith and said there were no way in Hell he'd ever betray his faith! All those three days he couldn't sleep or eat, and fervently prayed to be forgiven. On the third day, he didn't go to the Bishop, and had to be bodily taken there. When the Bishop asked why he hadn't come on his own, he said it was because he felt so horrible about having dared to even consider betraying his religion. And then the Bishop said that since he didn't just come there on his own to tell him this (that, and the fact that he didn't want to switch teams), he was going to suffer some mighty horrible punishment. Some of his underlings cut off Rabbi Amnon's feet and hands (in other versions of the story, he had his arms and legs cut off; in others, his legs and hands).

Several days later Rosh Hashanah came, and the bleeding dying wounded Amnon was forced to appear in front of his entire congregation like that. He had to be carried to shul and set down on the bimah. And during one point in the service, right before the Kedushah, he spoke the haunting beautiful poignant prayer that became known as the U'Netaneh Tokef. Immediately after saying this prayer, he passed on, and three days later, Rabbi Kalonymous ben Meshullam dreamt about Rabbi Amnon. In this dream, he taught him the words, and requested that it be made known to the entire Jewish community, everywhere, not just in Mainz or Germany, and that it forever onward be made a permanent part of the High Holiday liturgy. Of course it sounds a lot more beautiful, poetic, and haunting in the Hebrew, but the message in English is still quite powerful and humbling:

We shall ascribe holiness to this day.
For it is awesome and terrible.
Your kingship is exalted upon it.
Your throne is established in mercy.
You are enthroned upon it in truth.
In truth You are the judge,
The exhorter, the all-knowing, the witness,
He who inscribes and seals,
Remembering all that is forgotten.
You open the book of remembrance
Which proclaims itself,
And the seal of each person is there.

A still small voice is heard.
The angels are dismayed,
They are seized by fear and trembling
As they p r o c l a i m: Behold the Day of Judgment!
For all the hosts of heaven are brought for judgment.
They shall not be guiltless in Your eyes
And all creatures shall parade before You as a troop.
As a shepherd herds his flock,
Causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff,
So do You cause to pass, count, and record,
Visiting the souls of all living,
Decreeing the length of their days,
Inscribing their judgment.

On Rosh Hashanah it is written;
On Yom Kippur it is sealed.

How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who in the fullness of years and who before,
Who shall perish by water and who by fire,
Who by sword and who by beast,
Who by famine and who by thirst,
Who by earthquake and who by plague,
Who by strangulation and who by stoning,
Who shall have rest and who shall wander,
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,
Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low,
Who shall become rich and who shall be impoverished.

But teshuvah [repentance], tefilah [prayer], and tzedakah [charity, righteousness] avert the severe decree.

For Your praise is in accordance with Your name. You are difficult to anger and easy to appease. For You do not desire the death of the condemned, but that one turn from one's path and live. Until the day of one's death You wait for one. Should one turn, You will receive one at once. In truth You are their Creator and You understand their inclination, for they are but flesh and blood. Our origin is dust, our end is dust. We earn our bread by exertion and are like a broken shard, like dry grass, a withered flower, like a passing shadow and a vanishing cloud, like the breeze that blows away and dust that scatters, like the dream that flies away. But You are King, God who lives for all eternity! There is no limit to Your years, no end to the length of Your days, no measure to the hosts of Your glory, no understanding the meaning of Your Name. Your Name is fitting unto You and You are fitting unto it, and our name has been called by Your Name. Act for the sake of Your Name and sanctify Your Name through those who sanctity Your Name.

It's not meant to be a picture of some stern deity ready to send us to Hell at a moment's notice, but rather of a loving compassionate deity who holds us all to account for everything both good and bad we've ever done, who remembers all we have forgotten, to whom one day is as nothing. It stresses how fleeting our lives really are, that in the grand scheme of things we are little more, ultimately, than the flower that fades at sunset, the cloudburst that disappears, the dream that flies away. No one or nothing is the same or lasts forever but the Divine, and it's a powerful reminder of the fragility of human life during this very intense season of self-reflection.
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 07, 2008 - 4:35PM #5
Posts: 12
Thank you for posting these prayers! You are doing a great service to Beliefnet and its users.
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 5:27AM #6
Posts: 4
Here are the lyrics from a song by Marcos Vidal.  I hope not much is lost in translation:

I still can’t understand what has happened to me
The most glorious miracle that I have lived:
After squandering everything that wasn’t mine,
I have not had to pay.

I betrayed Him who saved my life.
I humiliated Him who healed all of my wounds.
And while running away, I reap what I deserved.
And while I was dismayed in my pain,
At some point, he found me.

And I have awakened in the fold, I don’t know how.,
Among cotton and my Sheperd’s care;
And before I could talk about my past,
I heard his words and voice telling me.

That he’s so glad that I have returned home;
Not to think, to get some rest, ‘cause there’s no problem 
And while I sleep in his lap, I know…
I´ve got new life, I belong to him, and I´m beloved.

I have learned the lesson of God's love,
that transformed me when it crossed my way,
and that gave my whole life another sense,
another goal, and one purpose;

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring for me,
but I know that his flame will never turn off,
No matter where the sun rises, he loves me,
I know what grace and forgiveness are,
His mercy is my song ...
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 6:24AM #7
Posts: 3
God grant me

The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

God grant me

The sense to realize that with all your goodness and love for me, you cannot have planned for me to live in poverty and scarcity.

The sight to see that abundance is my nature and I am meant to live a life showered with love, prosperity and happiness.

The ability to speak so I can only say words of hope, love, joy, goodness and to affirm the abundance in my life.

The memory to always remember my dreams and aspirations amidst the failures and frustrations.

Love so I can love myself and others.

I have expanded the prayer to make it a prayer of empowerment. … t-version/
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10 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 11:57AM #8
Posts: 5,799
This is a prayer taken from the Thich Naht Hanh's Plum Village Chant Book, Zen Buddhist Tradition. It is a prayer to Jizo Bosatsu, who is known to rescue all souls from Hell.

We invoke your name, Jizo. We aspire to learn your way so as to be present where there is darkness, suffering, oppression, and despair, so that we may bring light, hope, relief, and liberation to those places.

[SIZE=+1]We are determined not to forget about or abandon those who are in desperate situations. We will do our best to establish contact with them when they cannot find a way out of their suffering and when their cries for help, justice, equality, and human rights are not heard. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=+1]We know that hell can be found in many places on earth and we do not want to contribute to making more hells on earth. Rather we want to help unmake the hells that already exist. We will practice to realize the qualities of perseverance and stability that belong to the earth so that, like the earth, we can always be supportive and faithful to those who need us.[/SIZE]
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 25, 2008 - 2:55AM #9
Posts: 0
This is a prayer I wrote for my 3 year old niece so she can pray with me. I recite it line by line and she repeats it. We need to get the children started in prayer as soon as possible.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for my life, thank you for your love
Watch me as I grow from heaven above
Keep me healthy, make me strong
Please forgive me when I do wrong
Protect me and guide me
Each day and night
To walk by faith, not by sight
Bless Mommy and Daddy
And my family and friends
With love and happiness that never ends
Thank you Father for this day
In Jesus name I humbly pray…
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8 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2010 - 9:49AM #10
Posts: 1

Glory to Jesus!
I wish to have dialogue with brothers and sisters!
We can shares news and about our life in Uzbekistan.

Christians from Uzbekistan send all regards!
Please pray for us and for a freedom of speech!
I the missionary the pastor the preacher.
We speak the Gospel to the Uzbek people.
Samarkand. Bukhara. Tashkent. Navoi. Termez.
I wish you strong belief of love and patience.
Be sacred!

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