Table of Contents



Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi  Read Excerpt

Introduction: The Problem with Jewish Prayer 1

Part I The Spiritual Dynamics of Prayer 19

1. The Efficacy of Prayer 21Read Excerpt

2. What Is Prayer? 39 Read Excerpt

3. Yearning 48

4. Gratitude 55

5. Kavvanah 59

6. Engaging the Body 66

7. Listening for God: Silence and Meditation 77

8. Discerning Divinity 84

Part II Beginning to Pray 91

9. Advice For Beginners 93

10. The Power of You 99

11. Blessings 104

12. Cultivating a Personal Prayer Voice 108

Part III Growing and Healing through Prayer 113

13. Teshuvah: Personal Change, Communal Responsibility 115

14. Coping with Loss 126  Read Excerpt

Part IV Embracing Traditional Jewish Prayer 139

15. The Spiritual Dynamics of the Siddur 141

16. Learning the Siddur 155

17. Overcoming the Hebrew Barrier 167

18. Best Practices 173 Read Excerpt

19. Between Traditional and Personal Prayer 186

20. Advice For Beginners Redux 191

Part V Building a Prayer Practice 201

21. Starting a Daily Practice 203

Practices 209

YEARNING 209

Practice 1 Write a Psalm 209

GRATITUDE 210

Practice 2 Gratitude List 210

Practice 3 Thank-You Walk 211

BODY AWARENESS 211

Practice 4 Soul Breathing 212

Practice 5 25-25-50 Body Awareness 213

Practice 6 Heart Awareness 214

BLESSINGS 215

Practice 7 Blessings Practice 216

Practice 8 Jewish Blessings 218

Practice 9 Learn the Traditional Blessings 219

Practice 10 Blessings Walk 220

CULTIVATING A PERSONAL PRAYER VOICE 220

Practice 11 Personal Prayer 221

Practice 12 Talking to God—Rabbi Nachman’s Hitbodedut 222

Practice 13 Write a Letter to God 223

Practice 14 God Says 223

Practice 15 Contemplation 224

COPING WITH LOSS 226

Practice 16 Tears 226

Practice 17 Words 227

Practice 18 Meditation 227

Practice 19 Give It to God 227

TESHUVAH 228

ENGAGING THE BODY IN TRADITIONAL PRAYER 229

Practice 20 Jewish Chant 230

BEFRIENDING THE TRADITIONAL PRAYERS 233

Practice 21 Improvise with the Chatimah 234

Practice 22 Ask the Siddur a Question 235

Practice 23 Visualization 235

Practice 24 Dialogue a Prayer 236

Conclusion: Letting God In 239

Notes 243

Waiting for You at www.MakingPrayerReal.com 245

Glossary 247

Resources 253

About the Contributors 267

Index of Contributors 279