The Standing Prayer


The Amidah (Hebrew: “The Standing Prayer”), also called the Shemoneh Esreh (“The Eighteen”, in reference to the original number of constituent blessings), is the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy:

1. Blessed are you, O Lord our God and God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, the great, mighty and revered God, God most high, generous and kind, owner of all things. You remember the pious deeds of the patriarchs, and in love will bring a redeemer to their children’s children, for your name’s sake, O King, Helper, Saviour and Shield. Blessed are you, O Lord, the Shield of Abraham.

2. O Lord, you are for ever mighty. You bring back the dead to life. You have the power to save. Out of loving kindness you sustain the living; with great compassion you revive the dead. You support the falling, heal the sick, free the captives, and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust. Who is like you, Lord of mighty deeds, and who may be compared to you, O King, who brings death and life, and causes salvation to spring forth? You are to be trusted to bring the dead back to life. Blessed are you, O Lord, who revives the dead.

3. You are holy, and your name is holy, and holy beings praise you every day. Blessed are you, O Lord, the holy God.

4. You favour mankind with knowledge, and teach mortals understanding. Favour us with the knowledge, understanding and discernment that come from you. Blessed are you, O Lord, gracious Giver of knowledge.

5. Turn us back, O our Father, to your Torah; draw us near, O our King, to your service. Bring us back in perfect repentance to your presence. Blessed are you, O Lord, who delights in repentance.

6. Forgive us, O our Father, for we have sinned; pardon us, O our King, for we have been disobedient; for you pardon and forgive. Blessed are you, O Lord, ever gracious and ready to forgive.

7. Look on our misery, champion our cause, and redeem us swiftly for your name’s sake, for you are a mighty Redeemer. Blessed are you, O Lord, the Redeemer of Israel.

8. Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed; save us and we shall be saved; for it is you we praise. Send us complete healing for all our ills, for you, O divine King, are a trustworthy and compassionate Physician. Blessed are you, O Lord, who heals the sick of his people Israel.

9. O Lord our God, bless this year and all its varied produce for our good. Send a blessing on the earth; satisfy us with your goodness, and make this year as blessed for us as former good years. Blessed are you, O Lord, who blesses the years.

10. Sound the great horn for our freedom. Raise the banner to rally our exiles, and gather us in from the four corners of the earth. Blessed are you, O Lord, who gathers the dispersed of his people Israel.

11. Restore our judges as at first, our counsellors as in former times. Remove from us sorrow and sighing. Rule over us, O Lord, you alone, in kindness and compassion, and vindicate us in judgement. Blessed are you, O Lord, the King who loves righteousness and justice.

12. Towards the righteous and the pious, towards the elders of your people, the House of Israel, towards the remnant of their scholars, towards the righteous proselytes, and towards us also may your compassion be stirred, O Lord our God. Grant a rich reward to all who sincerely trust in your name; set our portion with them for ever, so that we may not be put to shame; for we have trusted in you. Blessed are you, O Lord, the support and security of the righteous.

13. To Jerusalem, your city, return in mercy, and dwell in it, as you have promised. Rebuild it soon in our days as an everlasting structure, and swiftly establish in it the throne of David. Blessed are you, O Lord, who rebuilds Jerusalem.

14. Cause the offspring of David your servant to spring up swiftly, and let his horn be exalted through your saving power, for we wait for your salvation all day long. Blessed are you, O Lord, who makes the horn of salvation (Yeshuah) to flourish.

15. Hear our supplication, O Lord our God. Spare us and pity us; receive our prayers with compassion and favour; for you are a God who listens to prayers and petitions. O our King, do not turn us out of your presence empty-handed, for you hear with compassion the prayers of your people Israel. Blessed are you, O Lord, who hears prayer.

16. O Lord our God, receive with pleasure your people Israel and their prayers. Restore the service to the sanctuary of your House. Accept with love and approval the fire-offerings of Israel and their prayers, and may the service of your people Israel be ever pleasing to you. May our eyes witness your return in mercy to Zion. Blessed are you, O Lord, who brings back his Shekhinah to Zion.

17. We give thanks to you, for you are the Lord our God and the God of our fathers for ever and ever; you are the Rock of our life, the Shield of our salvation in every generation. We will give thanks to you and praise you for our lives that are held in your hand, for our souls that are in your care, for your miracles that are with us every day, and for your wonders and your benefits that we experience every moment – morning, noon and night. You are all-good, for your mercy has no end; you are all-compassionate, for your kindness knows no limit: we have always put our hope in you. For all this, O our King, may your name be continually blessed and exalted for evermore. May all that lives give thanks to you and praise your name in sincerity, O God, our salvation and our help. Blessed are you, O Lord, whose name is All- Good, and to whom it is proper to give thanks.

18. Grant peace, well-being, blessing, grace, loving kindness and compassion to us and to all Israel, your people. Bless us, O our Father, all of us together, with the light of your face; for by the light of your face you have given us, O Lord our God, the Torah of life, love and kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life and peace. May it be good in your sight to bless your people Israel at all times and at every hour with your peace. Blessed are you, O Lord, who blesses his people Israel with peace.

“This prayer, among others, is found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book. As Judaism’s central prayer, surpassed only by the Birkat Hamazon, the Amidah is the only prayer that is designated simply as tefila (תפילה‎, “prayer”) in rabbinic literature…

Observant Jews recite the Amidah at each of three prayer services in a typical weekday: morning, afternoon, and evening…”  (Source: Wikipedia)

About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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