Sunday, February 15, 2009

first post... My Problem With Daily Prayer

I pray daily. Most of the time I follow the service-- recite, repeat, sing, meditate, etc. Some times I tune out or read some literature I brought with me to pass the time of the service. I am not proud of it, but I confess that prayer is a difficult experience for me. I am meant to come to a Synagogue (often at early hours) and immediately begin a dialogue with my Creator. Can it be done? There is no question that at times I feel my supplications have almost touched the heavenly gates. When I really needed guidance, during a particularly troubling time personally or nationally, or on a festival, perhaps Yom Kippur many years ago--I felt it. But on a daily basis?
It is with this sober realization that I set out on a quest to understand the words I recite in prayer, to appreciate them, and find a way to use them as my own when speaking to God. Over ten years ago I began writing a column called Introduction to Psalms where I analyzed a chapter of Tehillim every week for a few thousand students throughout the world. I twas very fulfilling as I was able to peek into the heart and soul of King David and the other psalmists and truly understand their poetic words, conveying the timeless messages to my readers. I also tried to internalize the ideas so that when I would have the oportunity to recite them, I would be ready and inspired.
It worked. And then it stopped working.

And then it started once again when I realized that as fickle as I am on a daily basis, so too is my spiritual capacity specificaly when engaged in prayer with an invisible God. Sometimes I feel it, other times...

This blog represents the daily, weekly or monthly ruminations of my heart about prayer in general and the elucidation of Psalms chosen to form part of that prayer in particular in hope that my dialogue with the Creator will continue to be dynamic and inspire me (and my children) to 'glance upwards' to God in a powerful way on a daily basis.