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What use is prayer, God? A Prayer During a Terror Attack in Paris

What use is prayer, God? A Prayer During a Terror Attack in Paris
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

What use is prayer, God,
while Your children are killing each other?
Your images are erasing each other,
right now, on the streets of Paris,
in markets and thaters and stadiums in Paris.

Dear God,
What can prayer accomplish
when hate and fear fill human hearts,
life interrupted by global concern,
all of us tweeting, reposting,
images of flags, incomplete reports,
sick to our hearts?

Dear God…
Dear God…

If only there were a way
to reach out beyond space,
to connect one heart to the next
until we remembered
that we belong to each other…

If only our hearts’ ache
for a world without hate
could reach Yours….

If only…

There is a way,
even during this moment of terror,
through a deeper prayer
than we’re used to making.

God, we need You
and we know
our fate isn’t up to You.

God, we pray,
but not for You to save us.
That won’t work.

God, we pray that You strengthen us.

Help us pray,
Help us rage,
Help us cry,
Help us rescue each other,
Help us change this broken world.

Help us transform our tears into resolve,
rage into constructive passion,
trauma into healing.

may we learn
not only to stop each other
from killing each other…

May we also learn
to stop killing
in the first place.


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Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
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