Making Prayer Real

Multi-Session Course


The Making Prayer Real Course, created by Rabbi Mike Comins, offers an innovative, spiritual dynamics approach to learning prayer and liturgy. Outstanding teachers are brought into the classroom via video, beginning a conversation that challenges students and draws them into dialogue with prayer, the Siddur, and each other. Skills are emphasized before theology as a workshop atmosphere is cultivated. As students explore numerous traditional and alternative prayer practices, they discover their preferences and abilities, crafting their own relationship to Jewish prayer as individuals and as members of the community.

MPR Course Syllabus


Module 1: Engaging Prayer

Pesukei d’Zimra (Verses of Song; Opening Prayers)

Lesson Plans

1. The Difficulty of Prayer
2. When Prayer “Works” and Mochin d’Gadlut
3. Yearning: Psalms and the Stirrings of the Heart
4. The Life of Gratitude

Module 2: Foundations

Birchot HaShachar (Morning Blessings)

Lesson Plans

5. Prayer as a Practice
6. Bringing Our Bodies into Prayer
7. The Art of Blessing
8. Creating Sacred Space with Response Blessings

Module 3: Listening Deeply

The Shema and Her Blessings

Lesson Plans

9. Mindfulness: Listen Before You Speak
10. Tradition! The Benefits of Liturgical Prayer
11. Shema 1: A Narrative Approach to Liturgy
12. Shema 2: Meaning and Interpretation

Module 4: Personal Prayer

Teshuvah and Introspection

Lesson Plans

13. The Challenge of Personal Prayer
14. Cultivating Your Personal Prayer Voice
15. Teshuvah: Introspection for Change
16. Discerning Divinity: Listening for a Response to Prayer

Module 5: Growing and Healing Through Prayer

The Amidah, Mi sh’Berach and Kaddish

Lesson Plans

17. Exploring the Amidah
18. The Amidah and Me
19. Coping with Illness and Loss
20. Mourning and Kaddish

Learn More

Course Modules

Download Information on the session subjects, video topics and video contributors.

MPR Story and FAQs

Rabbi Mike Comins shares the history of the project and explains the logistics of teaching the curriculum.

Pedagogic Strategies

Learn more about the innovative, MPR approach to teaching and learning prayer.

MPR Course Contributors

Rabbi Rachel Adler, PhD • Merri Lovinger Arian • Rabbi Bradley Artson • Rabbi Phyllis Berman • Rabbi Anne Brener, LCSW • Rabbi Stephen Cohen • Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD • Rabbi Getzel Davis • Rabbi Lavey Derby • Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD • Cantor Ellen Dreskin • Reb Mimi Feigelson • Rabbi Nancy Flam • Rabbi Karen Fox, DD • Tamar Frankiel, PhD • Rabbi Laura Geller • Rabbi Shefa Gold • Rabbi Arthur Green, PhD • Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD • Melila Hellner, PhD • Rabbi Myriam Klotz • Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell • Rabbi Richard N. Levy, DD • Rabbi Yael Levy • Rabbi Ebn Leader, PhD • Rabbi Natan Margalit, PhD • Jay Michaelson, PhD • Rabbi Rex Perlmeter • Rabbi Marcia Prager • Rabbi Or Rose, PhD • Rabbi Rami Shapiro • Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater • Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz • Rabbi Margot Stein • Linda Thal, PhD • Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg • Rabbi Dvora Weisberg, PhD • Rabbi David J. Wolpe

Sample Videos

Why Prayer is Difficult

The Amidah: Standing Before God

Kavanot for Saying the Shema

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