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Prayer for Patience and Strength in Adversity, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

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All-merciful God! Mine eye seeketh Thee, my soul panteth after Thee, to lay before Thee its heavy woe; the lamentations of my lips ascend to Thy throne. Troubles and sorrows have befallen me and my heart is full of bitter grief. The burden of misfortune weighs heavily upon me, and however much I may struggle against it, I cannot conquer it. Alas! only in the hour of adversity we perceive human weakness and helplessness and learn, that Thou alone art our support and strength, and what boundless blessing, what infinite benefit Thou hast bestowed upon us by Thy divine law. It is a strong, faithful guide unto us through this earthly pilgrimage, a mild, unweary aud inexhaustible comforter in the time of mishaps and tribulations. It teaches us that all dispensations are ordained by Thee, that Thou sendest woe, trials and adversity unto our benefit and salvation.

Therefore do I take refuge with Thee, in the hour of my need, and cleave unto Thee, my God and Father, in faith and confidence. Before Thee I unburden my heart, and offer my tears,—not tears of anger and rebellion, but tears of an aggrieved, mourning daughter,—tears that alleviate the heart, wash away all bitter feelings, and open the soul unto hope and confidence.

O God! Vouchsafe unto me Thy help and assistance,—put an end unto my sufferings and troubles, for Thou art a Father of grace and mercy unto all Thy children; and though we may have deserved, by our own guilt, Thine anger, and Thy displeasure by our deeds, Thy compassion is nevertheless great, and Thy loving-kindness without end. “Thine anger endureth but a moment, Thy grace lasteth a life-time.”[1]Psalms 30:6 part.—Grant me only that I may never grow weary or weak in my pious resolves, that I may never thus give myself up unto my pain and sorrow as to become disheartened, and to neglect my duties; that I may never be led away to impatience and irritation, and thus treat those around me with harshness and violence, and that I may never prove regardless of and ungrateful for the least benefit that Thy grace may bestow upon me. Mayest Thou, God! soon find me worthy of Thy mercy, and of happiness, to send unto me deliverance and salvation, that mine eye may shed tears of joy and thanksgivings. Amen.

“Prayer for Patience and Strength in Adversity” is one of thirty prayers appearing in Rabbi Moritz Mayer’s collection of tehinot, Hours of Devotion (1866), of uncertain provenance and which he may have written. –Aharon Varady

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Notes   [ + ]

  1. Psalms 30:6 part.

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