This Friday evening, before Shabbat set in, my congregation hosted a prayer writing workshop. Despite, or because of, my hesitation about the topic I felt drawn to attend. Despite, or because of, my struggles with this type of writing I questioned my desire to attend. It took me until the deadline to register.
Writer and teacher Janet Judith Falon gave us examples of prayer writing in various forms: poetry, prose, haiku, acrostic, epistolary. We even glanced at Facebook and Twitter examples.
Most effective, she gave us an exercise to prepare for writing prayers. Janet presented eight questions and asked that each of us draft a private list in response to at least one of them. I chose three:
- What are your dependable joys?
- What would be the chapters in your spiritual autobiography? (This is a cheat category--I simply jotted down "The chapters in Creative License," the book of my collected sermons.)
- What resources do you have to do good in the world?
Here is my first prayer:
As we hiked Hawk Mountain,
Brad and I on one of our small adventures,
Light thrust through the heavy canopy
A dramatic shaft cutting a path
Through the clouds and leaves
To direct a path before us
From the sun yet I am not sure where, but
I knew your presence in that brief moment.
With the weight and the light
And the lightness, all at once.
In adventures since, a sliver of
That day, that instant of you,
Continues to rain down light.