Monday, October 23, 2017
Passion Party #582 - Avinu Maleinu Part 2
Accepting the premise that there is some God-like entity or energy to pray to, the Avinu Malkeinu prayer from the Jewish New Year is really a series of requests from the congregation to "Our Father, Our King".
In a nutshell, we are saying, "I have screwed up this year; have compassion God, let me try again for another year." It is made up of 15 short statements, almost all of them requests:
1) a statement that there is a God
2) a request, prefaced by "for Your sake" asking for mercy.
This presents an interesting relationship between the believer and God. It is in God's benefit to show me mercy because I believe in him. If I am not shown mercy, who will believe in God? Who will be left to do God's will?
3) a request for healing of the sick (this is one of the few requests that is not "all about me".)
4) a request to remove the decree against me
5) a request to be inscribed in the Book of Life
6) a request for God to remember our good deeds
7) like #2, a request to save us "for Your sake".
8) a request to be heard
9) a statement that we have sinned
10) a request for compassion for us and our family
11) a request to end sickness, violence and hunger (finally not just for me and my family)
12) a request to end the reign of those that cause pain and terror
13) a request to be entered in the Book of Goodness
14) a request for a year of goodness
15) finally, a request for an answer to the prayer, to be saved through acts of justice and love.
Like so many prayers that I learned in Hebrew School, this one feels somewhat misguided. It does gratefully move for centering on "all about me", finally requesting things for the greater good (from "me" to "us" to "everyone").
I have come to believe that requesting specific action from God or the Universe is a waste of time. The Universe just is.
The best we can do is fit into the positive flow of energy and avoid the negative.
So my prayer is, "What can I do today to better serve Your will? Relieve me of the bondage of self. Show me what acts of justice and love I can do now so that I can better serve Your will and Your way of life. Your will, not mine, be done."
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