When All You Can Do Is Pray

When All You Can Do Is Pray June 24, 2015

Photo by Leland Francisco via Creative Commons
Photo by Leland Francisco
via Creative Commons

In times of difficulty, I often feel so drained or exhausted that even thinking about praying or giving an offering seems to much. It feels there are no right words for the circumstances, no flowery phrases that can directly translate the pain and heartache that must be dealt with. In these times, I find it best to use a simple prayer, a good prayer that affirms the order of the world and calls down blessings. One such prayer can be found in the Sigrdrífumál, part of the Poetic Edda. This version was translated by Bellows in 1936, and reads:

Hail Day! Hail sons of Day!
And Night and Her daughter now!
Look on us here with loving eyes,
that waiting we victory win.

Hail to the Gods! Ye Goddesses, hail,
and all the generous Earth!
Give to us wisdom and goodly speech,
and healing hands, life-long.

This is such a powerful prayer for me. I have written my own version that I like to use when I can’t find the words but feel the urge to pray, to affirm my place in the cosmos and ask for the good favor of the Gods and spirits.

Hail to Dagr, the Day that rises,
hail Sunna who brings light and life!
Hail to Nott, Night that brings joyful sleep,
hail Mani who keeps the time and tides!
Ever keeping Your circles,
look on us with loving eyes,
bring blessings like shining light.

Hail to the Gods and Goddesses,
to the lands and the living waters,
to the ancestors, ancient and wise,
to all the generous Earth!
Give to me wisdom and a happy heart,
a voice and hands that heal hurts,
for all the days of my life.

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