Judaism has a prayer that speaks of Divine unity. It also helps Jews remember that God exists not only in the “heavens” but close at hand. This prayer is called the Sh’ma. I’d like to propose that anyone from any religion or spiritual tradition, however, can take the basic premise of this prayer and use it to create a similar prayer to use each day so they feel connected to and close to God.
A traditional translation of the Sh’ma reads like this: Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
You can see that the prayer revolves around the idea that God is “one” — there is just one God. I like to also translate this as God is one with all things and all beings. Thus, the prayer becomes one of unity.
Additionally, I’ve heard this prayer translated by Rabbi David Cooper, author of God is Verb, this way: Listen closely, the part within each of us that yearns to go directly to God, the transcendent, unknowable source of sources and the God that we are able to relate to in Its immanence is everything we experience around us, both the transcendent and the immanent, are actually, paradoxically, one and the same. In other words, God is both far and close, within us and around us. Any prayer that says this, like the Sh’ma, allows us to feel unity with our Source, a closeness with our Creator.
Back in 2008, I wrote teh following translation of the Sh’ma, which, by the way, is a Hebrew word that means, “listen”. Listen and hear, all of you who struggle to understand how we are all connected to the same God: The spark of God within you (and in others) and the flame of God that is all around you and in everything, it all comes from and returns to the same fire of God — the original Source, one and the same.
Jews say the Sh’ma several times a day, in particular in the morning and in the evening. For anyone, such a prayer offers an easy, quick, practical spiritual practice. You can say it upon rising and just before going to sleep. This prayer is inside a mezuzah as well, so we remember this principle of unity and one God each time we pass the doorway of a room or enter or leave a home. You can do the same. Try it. Create your own version of the Sh’ma. Write your own prayer of unity and closeness to God. Start reciting it today.