💫Day 20 “Service of the Heart”
What does it mean to pray?✨ Two responses: “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is a daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” - Mahatma Gandhi💫 “Every single word is a whole world. When a person stands up to pray and recites the words of the prayers, he is gathering beautiful flowers and blossoms, one by one, until they make a bunch. Then he picks more, one by one, until they make another bunch, and he puts them together. So he goes on, picking and gathering more and more lovely bouquets.
So it is in prayer: one goes from letter to letter, until several letters are joined together to make a syllable. One does the same to make whole words. Then one joins two words, and goes on, picking and gathering, until one completes a whole blessing.“ - Rebbi Nachman of Bratzlav✨
Both of these definitions work for me. Sometimes when we come to pray, there are no words - only an open heart. Our brokenness, despair, or even elation and gratitude can take on the form of prayer itself.🌟 Other times, we choose to turn to an open book - the words on the page reflect back our innermost desire, stirring something within us: a connection to history, to continuity, or the realization that the words speak our innermost truths. ✨
Does God need our prayers?
In Hebrew, there are different words for prayer. One of them is “L’hitpallel” - a reflexive term denoting the process of prayer as causative within us. We generally think about prayer as an external process - sending the words OUT to God. How does it change your approach to prayer when you think about the words as catalyst to stir something WITHIN? ✨
During this season, prayer is a change agent, helping us to move the needle toward clarity and cleansing.🌟 Elul Action: What does prayer feel like for you at this time? Think about a time when you had a powerful experience with prayer.🌟 Daily Prayer: Lev tahor b'ra li Elohim, v’ruach nachon chadesh b'kirbi
“Create me a clean heart, O God/Spirit of the Universe;
and renew a stedfast spirit within me.” -Psalms 51:12🌬