Monday, October 2, 2017

Hannah's Prayer: Seeking Work

Inspired by the sermon my Rabbi preached on Rosh Hashanah morning, I wrote this prayer. I had asked if there was a Jewish prayer for job seekers and apparently there is not and her sermon finally gave me the inspiration needed. The story of Hannah from the book of Samuel is the haftarah for the Rosh Hashanah morning service.

Hannah's Prayer: Seeking Work

"And she was bitter in spirit, and she prayed to the Lord, and wept." (Samuel 1:10)

"And Hannah wept. Feelings of loneliness consumed her, and she began questioning her self-worth. “What is wrong with me?”, she asked. “Am I not good enough?”, she pondered. Struggling with infertility, Hannah fell into the deep abyss of depression. Filled with sadness, anger, and frustration, she did what no one had done before. She made an impassioned plea to God, not simply praying for a child, but praying that one day she might feel whole again." (a modern midrash)

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha'olam, Borei

I come to you, like Hannah, filled with sorrow, rage, and despair. 
For too long now, I have been out of work, not found work, not had enough work
My hope is faltering
I wonder "What is wrong with me?"; I wonder if I will ever work again; I wonder why and who is to blame.
I blame myself.
I come to you Adonai, as Hannah did, to pour my heart out to you, to beg you to hear my plea, to hear my pain, my fear, my anger, my frustration.
I long to use my gifts, skills, and experience; I long to be able to support myself and my family
I long for work - Hannah saw having a child, a son, her work, her unique contribution to the world.
I too long for work, to make my contribution to the world. 
God hear me, hear my plea.
Who will hear me like Eli heard Hannah? 
May I be able to pour out my anger, my sorrow, to free the way of obstacles. 
May my cry be heard, may my life become fruitful and of service. 
I promise to use my gifts, my resources to help heal this world, to be the co-creator you invite us to be. I promise, as Hannah promised her child to you, that my work will be in service to you and to the world. 


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