Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use


A Prayer for Our Troops and Families

I grew up with stories of my grandfather’s service during World War II. The stories conveyed inspiration, humor and love all at once.

grandpa

The dedication he felt to our country remains with me, and it explains the extraordinary tears I shed invoking a blessing at a deployment ceremony here in Chicago.

I had never been asked to give a blessing for departing troops, and I did not know a deployment ceremony even existed. It was a struggle.

What can I say to men and women who will not see their spouses, parents, children, boyfriends and girlfriends for 14 months? How can I bring comfort to their loved ones?

Does Prayer Work

These questions go to the heart of prayer. Do we pray for ourselves or others? Does God answer our prayers? Does prayer work even if we don’t hear God’s answer?

I believe prayer works, but not in the way we often think. An elevator works when it takes us up and down. Prayer works when it invests our lives with meaning and purpose, with comfort and understanding.

Prayer works when it brings out our most noble, empathetic and loving virtues.Prayer works when it changes us.

The Prayer

Here are the words I shared: Rabbi Deployment Ceremony

In Judaism the highest value is pikuach nefesh, the saving of a life. We are commanded to set aside all other tasks in order to save a life in need. That is what you are doing today. That is what you will do over the next 14 months. So let us pray:

Eternal God, we give you profound thanks for all those who serve our nation. Give them strength. Give them love. Bless them with your presence. Sharpen their skills. Make their judgments true.

Help them serve with wisdom, honor and integrity. May their faith be fostered and may they answer fear with courage. May your angels hold them and guide them, May your presence give them strength, hope and faith.

And bless their families, Oh God. Their mothers and fathers, spouses and children, loved ones: all who love them and will miss them. Bring them comfort and strength.

Let them know the blessing of their loved one’s service, the gifts they bring to the world, the courage with which they inspire us all. Let them be their strength, Oh God. Let them know you are near to them and to their loved ones, giving them your love and your grace.

And be present with our country’s leaders and officers, Oh God. Give them wise judgment, commitment and courage. Let them know of your love for them and guide them in protecting the freedom, liberty and justice we cherish.

We turn to You, Oh God, and in the words an ancient Jewish prayer we say, “May God grant strength unto our people, and may God bless all people with peace.” Amen

 

To Inspire Yourself and Discover More, check out Rabbi Moffic’s free weekly digest of spiritual wisdom



Previous Posts

Do You Know What Hurts Me? A Story
  A great rabbi went into a bar. He overheard a conversation between patrons.   One said to the other, “Friend, do you love me?” “Of course I do,” the second man replied. “We’ve known each other our whole lives.”   “Then tell me, friend,” said the first man, “

posted 1:01:07pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Does Religion Cause War?
Deadly images on television tear at our heart. We wish for the violence in Israel to end. This land, sacred to three global religions, seems endlessly mired in conflict. Does religion just

posted 12:36:26pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Healing Power of Laughter: The Jewish Genius of Robin Williams
In Jewish tradition we have a special greeting for a genius. Upon meeting such a person, we say, Blessed are You, Eternal God, Source of Life, who has given from His wisdom to flesh and blood.  Had I ever met Robin Williams, I would surely have said it. Williams was a singular genius. He brought

posted 2:26:21pm Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »

God Never Gives Up Hope: A Prayer for Israel
 I remember my first visit to Israel in 1994. The Oslo Accords had just been signed. Hope reigned. My group was greeted warmly in the Arab market in Jerusalem. The opposite feelings prevail today. We witness bombings, indiscriminate hatred, vitriol. Dozens of my friends who are there now share w

posted 10:19:40pm Jul. 13, 2014 | read full post »

The Secret to Happiness? Let Life Surprise You
I remember sitting one day with my  three-year-old daughter. She had a book in her and was turning the pages and telling the story. This was her regular habit. She could not yet read the words, but she could tell the story based on the pictures. I had one ear listening to her voice and the ot

posted 4:23:22pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.