A Prayer for Everyone’s Prayerbook on What to Pray For

[Here are two versions of a remarkable prayer indeed: What to Pray For by Rabbi Jack Reimer. I first came across this prayer a few months ago and used it as a spark for meditation. Afterwards, Two thoughts came to mind, “Where has this been all my life?” and “If there was a Hall of Fame for Prayers, this prayer belongs in the initial class of honored prayers.” Since ther is no such Hall of Fame for Prayers, I decided to begin my own. I am calling it “Anthology of Prayer.” Many of the prayers in my just begun ON PRAYER series will end up in there as well. These posts will feature a mystic, saint, or spiritual writer, a few quotes by him or her on prayer,and a prayer he or she wrote or to whom is has been attributed. Here is both the original version by Rabbi Jack Reimer and an adapted version.]

pray Pictures, Images and Photos

Afternoon Sabbath Prayer: Likrat Shabbat (original) by Rabbi Jack Reimer

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way
That man must find his own path to peace.
Within himself and with his neighbor.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation;
For You have already given us 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 root out prejudice;
For You have already given us eyes
With which to see the good in all men,
If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair,
For You have already given us 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 You have already given us great minds
With which to search out cures and healing,
If we would only use them constructively.
Therefore we pray to You instead, O God,
For strength, determination and will power,
To do instead of just pray,
To become instead of merely to wish.

http://www.appleseeds.org/sabbath-prayer.htm

Likrat Shabbat (adapted) “What to Pray For” by Rabbi Jack Reimer

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way
That we must find our own path to peace
Within ourselves and with our neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation;l
For You have already given us 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 root out prejudice;
For You have already given us 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 despair,
For You have already given us 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 You have already given us great minds
With which to search out cures and healing,
If we would only use them constructively.

Therefore we pray to You instead, O God,
For strength, determination and will power,
To do instead of just pray,
To become instead of merely to wish.

–Jack Riemer

http://www.firstparishinlincoln.org/archives/Sermons/PT70429.html

Photo by djlargent on photobucket

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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2 Responses to A Prayer for Everyone’s Prayerbook on What to Pray For

  1. Denise says:

    This is an awesome prayer! It places prayer in the “active” state where it was always meant to be. God is always calling us to action!

  2. Pingback: Friday Five (Vol. 18) « Dolce Domum

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