Silent Saturday Prayer

Rest you well, beloved Jesus, 
Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King, 
In the brooding of the Spirit, 
In the darkness of the spring.

(N. T. Wright, from The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is)

The Marks of Thy Cross

Where are the marks, the marks of Thy anointing?
Savior reveal, how am I joined with Thee?
Have I embraced the cross of Thy appointing,
Thy Cross constrained a true response in me?
Spare not the truth, I spurn all shallow seeming;
Where are the proofs of Thy dying in me?
As I am Thine by my pure love to Thee.
Henceforth, for Thee inured to gain or loss,
Let me be known by the marks of Thy Cross.

Thy brow was torn, but mine has known no bleeding;
Thy hands were nailed, but mine are whole and free.
Thy cheek has burned beneath the traitor's greeting;
Have I endured the lonely way for Thee?
Thy tears fell down upon a world's transgression;
When have I wept for the souls that love not Thee?
It was Thy heart that filled Thee with compassion;
Oh, may that heart renew Thy life in me!
Henceforth, for Thee inured to gain or loss,
Let me be known by the marks of Thy Cross.

(a prayer of Albert Orsborn)

Maundy Thursday Prayer

not my feet
but also
my hands
my head.
my heart.
my mind.
my life.

(based on John 13:9).

Solomon in All His Glory

my bones are aching and my hair is awful gray,
but Solomon in all his glory
didn't have the health and comfort I enjoy.

And the one wife I have (compared to his 700 wives) is more than I can handle,
but Solomon in all his glory
didn't have the lovely Robin to call his own, his one, his only.

And these children and grandchildren of mine--
Solomon in all his glory
could not have been happier or prouder or fuller than me.

And this home is no palace, for sure,
but Solomon in all his glory
didn't have his needs met, his comfort regulated, like this.

And I don't have all the books I'd like to have,
nor the time I'd love to read them,
but Solomon in all his glory
didn't have access to the volumes of truth and beauty I have at my fingertips.

And, sure, I have to carefully watch what I eat for the sake of my health and my weight,
but Solomon in all his glory
didn't have fruit year-round, BBQ ribs, and coffee every morning.

And most of all, of course, though I am a fitful follower and a poor servant,
yet Solomon in all his glory
didn't know what it is to be rescued from the domain of darkness,
transferred to the kingdom of God's beloved Son,
in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

So thank you, Lord,
thank you,
that Solomon in all his glory
was not blessed like this.

Writer's Senses

Gracious God,
thank you for the smell of pencil shavings,
the elegance of a good fountain pen,
the click-clack of ancient typewriter keys...
for the intoxication of creative juices,
the sweetness of a well-turned phrase...
for the creak of the office chair,
and the surprise of a catch in the throat
and the salty track of a tear on the cheek...
for the hum of a computer,
for the thrum of a printer,
for the agony of the blank page,
the ecstasy of the last line,
the terror of hitting "send"
and the fragrance of fresh ink on crisp new pages.
Thank you, Lord, for these gifts and graces,
and for the many others I am too dull to sense,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Passover Prayer

Long ago,
at this season,
on such a night as this,
your people, Lord,
set out on a journey.

All but crushed
by their enslavement,
they yet recalled
the far-off memory
of a happier past
and heard the voice
of their God,
bidding them
to summon the courage to be free.

Boldly, they went forth from Egypt,
crossed the Sea,
and headed through the desert for the Promised Land.

What they experienced, they remembered, and told their children, and they to theirs.

From generation to generation,
the story was retold,
and we are here to tell it yet again.

We too give thanks for Israel's liberation
and in doing so we too remember what it means to be a slave.

And so we pray for all who are still fettered,
still denied their human rights.
Let all God's children sit at your table,
drink the wine of deliverance,
and eat the bread of freedom:

Freedom from bondage
And freedom from oppression,

Freedom from hunger
And freedom from want,

Freedom from hatred
And freedom from fear,

Freedom to think
And freedom to speak,

Freedom to learn
And freedom to love,

Freedom to hope
And freedom to rejoice;

Soon in our days,


For the People of Kansas City

Author of life,
Man has turned violent,
Cutting down young and old
In Kansas City,
Grandparents and grandchildren,
Our brothers and sisters,
Crushing lives,
Upending dreams,
Attacking love with hatred.

Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of murder in Kansas City
Whose lives were cut off by violence,
An act of witless aggression
And calculated anti-Semitism.
Remember the survivors of this horror,
And the victims of any violence, suffering or despair.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
And devotion to each other.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Put an end to anger and hatred,
Bigotry and fear,
And lead us to a time when no one
Suffers at the hand of another.
For the sake of the Jewish people,
For the sake of all people,
And for the sake of Your Holy Name,
Let the community of all faiths rally
In Your Holy Name.
Grant the people of Kansas City Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing,
And Your peace.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Livin' the Dream

Prayer of a Depressed Person

I have fallen into blackness,
A hole,
A cave without light.
How deep is this pain?
This loneliness?
This suffering and isolation?

G-d of Old,
I call out to You
From the depths of confusion and fear.
What balm will ease my suffering?
What consolation will guide me?
I am afraid and ashamed.
I am sad and lost.

G-d of healing,
Be the light that guides me
Back to myself,
Back to my joy,
Back to my holiness and wonder.
Help me to stop committing acts of violence against myself
With [self-abuse][anger][shame][food][a blade][alcohol][drugs][sex].
I know Your healing power,
Your salvation and grace.
Lead me on a journey
Back to wholeness and to self-respect.
Help me to live a life of happiness and love.

(© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved; photo courtesy of skaletto via stock.xchng)