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Avinu Malkeinu: A Prayer of Protest

Avinu Malkeinu

Hear our voice:

Some of us have cancer.

Some have lost strength of body; some have lost memory and speech.

Some of us are in pain.

Some can’t find work.

Some of us bear the marks of human cruelty — inside, where the scars don’t show.

Some live with depression; some battle addiction; many feel alone.

Some have known shattered marriages, trust betrayed, hopes destroyed.

Some of us have lost the ones we love, far too soon.

And some of us have lost a child.

All of us have seen suffering in our midst.

All of us know the ravages of war — for which there are no words.


Avinu Malkeinu, why?

Avinu Malkeinu, are you there? Do you care?

Avinu Malkeinu, Hear our pain.

Hear our anger. Hear our grief.

Avinu Malkeinu, here is our prayer:

Give us the strength to go on.

Give us reasons to get up each day; give us purpose and persistence.

Help us to fend off fear and to hold onto hope.

Help us to be kind.

Don’t make us bow or grovel for your favor. Give us dignity and give us courage.


Avinu Malkeinu

Show us the way to a year of goodness.

Renew our belief that the world can be better.

Restore our faith in life. Restore our faith in you.


Mishkan Hanefesh, author unknown.