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Prayer of a mother for her sick infant child, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)

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Scarcely has this child lovingly smiled upon me, scarcely has it recognised me, and its head already inclines to the valley of sorrow. O Divine compassion, from the lowest depths cries unto Thee the mother’s heart penetrated with unspeakable suffering; spare, all-kind Father this hardly budded flower, spare it, Father of mercy, and do not withdraw from me this good, the loss of which I should scarcely be able to overcome. Send to me, O Father, as Thou sendest unto the “Shunamite ” who mourned for her heavily sick child, a messenger of help, so that I may not be deprived of the precious gift which Thou hast presented me. Didst Thou not instruct us through Thy prophet. “Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver Thee, and Thou shalt glorify me!”[1]Psalms 50:15. And through Thy prophet Isaiah Thou didst promise to Thy people of Israel אֶצֹּק רוּחִי עַל־זַרְעֶךָ וּבִרְכָתִי עַל־צֶאֱצָאֶיךָ “I will pour out my spirit upon Thy seed, and my blessing upon Thy offspring:”[2]Isaiah 44:3. extend then also this paternal promise to my child, bestow upon it health and long life. Yes, O Father, hope whispers to me: that Thou only wouldst prove my trust in Thee, Thou hast not determined on the death of my child, and after the short night, which now overclouds me, many delightful days will follow. Amen.

“Prayer of a Sick Child” was first published in Marcus Heinrich Bresslau’s collection of teḥinot, Teḥinot Banot Yisrael: Devotions for the Daughters of Israel (1852).

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Notes   [ + ]

  1. Psalms 50:15.
  2. Isaiah 44:3.

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