Effectual Prayer

I want to post something as regards prayer from the Neshnabe perspective, as many do not realize how sacred prayer is to our people, twice so when one of us comes to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. I thank God I can speak more than one language and can praise God in all of them.

Nin se Neaseno.

Prayer—-madmowen, dodaskewen, dotmowen, najdowen, nokanawen, etc. (Bodewadmimwen inspired)

What is it?

Prayer is seeking

Prayer is worship

Prayer is praising the Powers that be

Prayer is meditating and reflecting

Prayer can be deep introspection

Prayer is intercession, interceding for somebody or something

Prayer is travailing or asking for somebody else or something to happen

Prayer is maintenance in one’s life

Prayer is thoughtful

Prayer is heartfelt asking

Prayer is inclusive of all

Prayer is never exclusive

Prayer is compassionate

Prayer is gentle

Prayer is faithful

Prayer is pervading strength of purpose

Prayer is from the heart

Prayer is grounding or centering

Prayer is seeking guidance when needed

Prayer is enlightening

Prayer is wisdom activated

Prayer is wisdom, understanding, knowledge and prudence in all

Prayer is gratifying….

In the English language, prayer is largely defined by the idea of asking. In old English one could say, either to God or to anyone else: “I pray thee to do such and such.” The basic concept here is heart-felt request. The Jewish concept of prayer, however, is best defined by its Hebrew word “tfilia” (תפילה).

The primary meaning of the verb “lehitpalel” (להתפלל), the verb behind the noun, is self-judgement or introspection. Especially in Jewish Hassidic traditions, tfilia is understood to be an introspection that results in bonding between the creature and the Creator, as a child would bond with his/her father.

It is not a surprise that when the Jewish Christ was asked by his disciples how they should pray, he taught them what to request, making sure to address their Heavenly King as “Our Father” (Matt. 6:9). Shortly before that Jesus warned them to avoid using vain repetitions that characterized pagan approaches to prayer (Matt. 6:7).

In Isaiah we find a curious text: “… these I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in the house of my prayer” (וְשִׂמַּחְתִּים בְּבֵית תְּפִלָּתִי). Note the wording: not “my house of prayer”, but “the house of my prayer.” (Isaiah 56:7; Barachot 7A) But how is it possible for God to engage in prayer? And with whom?

The answer lies in understanding that Hebrew prayer is not only a “request-making session.” It is a communal bonding between God and his child. The house of “his prayer” is, therefore, where God himself engages in introspection and in so doing bonds deeply with his people. They in turn reciprocate this action in their own prayers and bond with Him.

Hau Mesho,

Oh Grandfather

Odo pi ébyayak

At this time we come

Éndodmoyak i jitmowen

We ask for this help 

Mine I zhawendagsewen ge ninan shote ednesyak

And this blessing upon us who live here

Énizhopamséwat se ode Aki

As they walk together on this Earth

Nizhokmoyak émnozhewébsiyak ode nwézhobmadsewen

Help us to live this long life

Nizhokmoshek jayék gé ninan

Help all of us

Nishokmoshek épandewébniyak

Help us as we search

I géte myéwen

For the true way

Mine i débwéwen

And the truth

Mine i bémadsewen

And the way of life

Gin se mteno éje penmoyak odo pi

You alone we depend on at this time

Ahau, Migwéch.

Ho, thank you

Iw énajmoyak odo pi

That is all we say at this time

A General Prayer.

Hau nmeshomes

Oh my Grandfather

Mine gi meshomsenanek

And all of our grandfathers

Mine Mamogosnan eshe ne kasyen gego

And Creator as you are also known

Mine o Nokmeskignan

And our Grandmother Earth

E bya ygo ngom

So we come today

Ebgednegoygo ode sema

To put down our tobacco

Mine anet se ode wisnewen

And some of this food

Ik she gwien ekedgoygo

To say thank you

Mine ode kigdowen nake ode madwomen

And this talk or our prayers

Emno widoktadwiygo jayek se ninan

That we may all interact well together all of us

Mine eminangoygo i mnobmadsewen

And we may receive this good life

Ewi mnomajishkaygo mine ewi

That we may be healthy and

Ni zhokmagomen jayek

We may receive the health/help we all need

Pene shna emnobmadziygo

That we always live good lives

Ewi pamseygo se ode kiwen

As we walk about this Earth

Mine ewi mno wdabjetoygo

And that we use in a good way

Jayek gi nozhownen emingoygo

All those gifts we’ve been given

I ye i endotmoygo ngom

That is what we ask of you today

Pene shna emno widoktadwiygo

That we always live well together

Epa bmadziygo shote

Where we live about here

Gego wnikeken gode pwagnen

Don’t forget these pipes

Ewi nizhokmagoygo epenmoygo gi

That we depend on to help us

Ibe pi ebodyego gi pwagnen

When we fill them those pipes

Mine engemwiygo gode gemwenen enajdoygo

And as we sing these songs all of us asking

Gnizhokmagejek ewi byewat shote ednesyego

These powers to come here where we live

Enizhokmagomen emneseygo

To help us in things we need

Ode bmadsewen

Of this life

I ye i wa je penmoygo pene

That is why we depend always

Shna i mendowen etoyen

On this spiritual power you have

Ibe ednesyen

There where you are

Iw enajmoyan…..

That is all I have to say…….

Published by neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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