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Tefillah Tips

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#1 taon



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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:18 PM

To start, i had collected thi a while back

st powerfully holy manner. In a way that it is most likely to be accepted.
The compilers of the Siddur were possessors of Ruach HaKodesh, and very, very holy men, and they knew precisely the best way to get Hashem to answer our prayers in the most beenficial manner. On Rosh Hashanah we blow the Shofar to invoke the memory of the Akeidah, for instance. But the Akeidah is not the only invocation possible, and the Anshei kneses Hagedolah put together the best possible combinations of words and pesukim to maximize our chances of getting our tefilos accepted.
Prayer is nt just "asking" Hashem for things. it is connecting to Him in a way that His sustenance flows into this world in precisely the way that we desire. You can only make this happen because you have a soul that is able to connect to Hashem. You pray with your soul, not just with your words. And unfortunately we don't know too much about how our soul communicates with Hashem -- but Chazal did. So they told us the best way to do it.
A lot of Davening also has to do with who you are. Each Shevet (tribe) has another "pathway" though which they are capable of drawing down Hashem's sustenance to the world. One tribe cannot use the conduit of the other; it just won't work.
there's a lot more to Davening than just letting Hashem know what you want. Talking to Hashem is not the same as talking to a human being. It is a spiritual process that invovles connecting your soul to the Source of sustenance of the world. Chazal taught us how to do that.
We pray not only for the purpose of communicating with Hashem. Tefilah also has an effect on us. It sanctifies us by making us closer to Hashem.
Humans are comprised of both physical and spirtual components, and it's not so easy to sanctify both of them at the same time, since what affects a physical thing won't affect a spiritual thing and vice versa.
So Hashem created a system of Mitzvos that invovles (1) thought - Kavanah, (2) action - Maaseh, and (3) speech - Dibur.
The thought componenets of our Mitzvos affect the Neshoma, since both thought and Neshoma are spiritual. Actions affect the body - they are both physical, and speech affects your Ruach (spirit) since they are both in between.
Tefilah was designed to comprise both thought (Kavanah), speech (the words) and action (bowing and standing etc.). Each one of these components functions on its own and impacts on a different part of us. And each one, in order to properly affect us, has to be done according to the instructions of Hilchos Tefilah.
So yes, it's true that Hashem knows what we haad intended to say. But if we don't say it, the "speech" component of our Tefilah is still deficient, even though the "kavanah" part may still be intact. And
(Most of this from R’ Moderator)

II. Motivation and tips (just general motivation, not for specific issues)

During the day thank Hashem out loud, or at least keep a list of just a few things Hashem has done for you. Think about these before Davening.
Rabbi Miller zt”l, and I’ve seen similar elsewhere says to think of something you’re thankful for, and thank Hashem, when bowing at the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei and Modim

When a crisis happens, it’s a wake up call, a reminder to daven. Think of those times when you don’t really need something as badly.

If you have ever been hiking and you lose your footing, you might suddenly find yourself sliding down the side of the mountain. Now some people in that situation will just lie there limply and think to themselves "I'm sliding down the side of the mountain! I'm going to have to climb all the way back up!" And sure enough when they hit bottom, that's exactly what they do - they have to climb all the way back up to get back to where they were.
There are however, people who stick out there feet and grab with their hands to slow down and stop they're descent. They won't fall so far, and it will be easier for them to regain the levels they lost.
You have to focus on one idea - you ENJOY davening. It is a positive force in your life. Forget that you have to, or that you're being an ingrate. It is a positive and enjoyable experience, something that you want to do.

If you don’t have kavana, don’t get upset with yourself, that just distracts you further. Just refocus yourself. Don’t try to be perfect, just keep going at it again and again
Don’t forget, you can daven for help with davening!

Try davening outside (see related halachos http://www.frumteens...Tefilah&M=0&S=1)
It’s not recommended, but as a temporary meausure if its necessary it is okay
Shulchan Aruch suggests davening in a room with a window, not one where you may see someone untznius, then it’s forbidden to daven facing that way, or where there is something distracting. Just a window, preferbably facing east. When loosing concentration, look at the sky and think of Hakadosh Bruch Hu
Imagine, because in a figurative sense it is true, that there is a vertical pipe connecting you with Hashem, and your tefillos go through it. No holes or obstructions.
when a person gets up to daven, it's as if HaKadosh Baruch Hu "shushes," so to speak, all of the malachim who are singing shira, and it's as if He says, "ya'amod _____." And everyone and everything is quiet, just listening to *you.*
Touched by a prayer says something like this(forgive me if i am a little bit wrong,but it's just the point)imagine being in Yerushalayim as you are davening, when u say brachos you are on a mountain facing the Beis Hamikdash, you are thinking that you are so close to the Beis Hamikdash(just a few more steps you can do it!) as you continue davening saying pesukei dzimra(you are getting closer you are now in the first room of the Beis Hamikdash as time goes by when you are in shemoneh esrei you have reached the Kodesh Hakadoshim, Holy of holies, can u imagine??(this only works if you have kavanah while davening i think) no one can go into the Kodesh Hakadoshim (besides for yom kippur) and every day if u can reach that level you are in there!!! over the last few days i have been imagining this as i daven and it has really been helping me! just think that today if you have kavanah you iwll be in a place that no one can go, you are so close to Hashem and the more kavanh the closer you can get. I wish you alot of Hatzlacha and I hope that Bezras Hashem you will be in that Kodesh Hakadoshem very soon!!
Before each Tefillah, think about what you are about to say

the sforno (and the sechel, but thats besides the point) says that if a person has too little strenght to concentrate or tiem, he should know that quality in tefila matters more than quantity, and rather skip a lot of things and say one-two things with kavana, again, if u dont have strength or time.
R' Shimshon Pinkus talks about saving ur kavana for amida- DONT DO IT. it is a trick of the yetzer hara that i think like, everyone falls for. if u know it is a trick maybe u wont fall for it. If you want to have kavana, GRAB THE MOMENT. GRAB IT.If that means ur amida is going to go down the tubes, do it anyway, bec its better to have one then none. dont wait for the amida. or else just say like ashrei shema and go straight to amida. but WHENEVER u feel like u can or u want to, concentrate, even though u feel like "saving it for later" because when later comes....

The following is from Rasisei Layla of Rav Tzadok (#26):
Between two wise men, he who has more wisdom is considered the superior of the two. Not so with regard to Tefilah. There, the opposite is true - whoever is more lacking and has more needs, is able to achieve more with his Tefilah, since his Tefilah comes from a deeper place in his heart.
The depth of heart and mind that produced these marvelous poems can be channeeld into your davening to achieve what many people on much higher levels than you cannot achieve. You know how to tap into the depths of the Neshama and express the deepest yearnings for the highest things. You dont even have to "tap" much - you feel those depths already!
When you daven, feel those depths, those yearnings - the same feelings that you have when you write these poems, express those feeligns to Hashem like you express them to the readers of your poems, and I promise you, your Tefilos will be strenghtened a thousandfold, and you will achive more with them than you can ever imagine!

what does this mean? we dont need anybody else 2 talk 2 our God 4 us. He has given us the amazing opportunity for tfila! we dont have 2 wait till we die 2 b face 2 face to God, we have him right here! we daven anywhere,any time, any place, any language!!!guys dont u c? tfila isnt a chore, its a gift! prayer makes u happier. God is like the ideal friend. He never leaves u 4 someone else, or puts u on hold while he answers another call. he wont ever embarrass u after u tell him something uve done, or misinterperet what u tell him. nobodys perfect. everyone sins. everyone has issues. everyone has bad days. guess what...God's out there, and he has infinite patience to listen. So please, take this present, unwrap it. open up your siddur...or just pray from your soul.

OK, first, there are two places, and sometimes three, wheree you can insert your own prayers for anything you want, in Shemona Esrai. One is in the Brachah of Shema Koleinu, right before "ki ata shomaya tefilas kol peh". Usually, there is an asterisk at that point. In the ArtScroll Sidur, therre's two little circles that refer to two possible prayers to say there that are in the footnotes on the bottom of the page. But at that point you can insert any prayer you want.
The second is at the end of "Elokai Nitzro", right before "yihiyu l'ratzon." You can insert any prayer there, too.
The third opportunity is, you can insert into any Brachah a prayer that realtes to the topic of that Brachah. Such as the prayer for sick peopel that you mentioned in Refaeinu. But because its somestimes unclear as to whether a given prayer pertains to a given Brachah, the first to choices are better.

Try to learn the menaing of what you are saying
"kol yisrael areivim zeh lazeh" our tefillos affect each other
Try getting into the right sate of mind with Jewish music (preferably in your head)
There are many mesholim and divrei torah stories about Tefillah, try reading one a day or before you daven, or from a sefer on Tefillah
When you start Shemonah Esrei, before you say the first word, imagine that you are actually standing in Shamayim in front of Hashem on the Kisei HaKavod.
That you have been granted a chance to ask Hashem personally for everything you, your parents, and the whole world needs.
That Hashem asked specifically to hear from you what those needs are.
And now, you are asking Hashem for them. You are in front of the King, Who is in charge of life and death and everything else in this world, you, "bas yisroel", talking one on one to Hashem.
Pause for 30 seconds to do this right before you bend your knees for the first "Boruch". Imagine that during those 30 seconds you're standing right at the door to Hashem's Throne Room, ready to enter. You're taking a deep breath, reviewing what you want to say. You're about to open the door, your hand is on the knob, and you say to yourself, "Bas Yisroel," you're about to go into the King and ask Him for everything. Don't blow it.
Then, when you're ready to finally open the door and face the King, bow for the first Boruch.
And keep this is mind throughout your Shemonah Esrei.

Rabbi Moshe Aaron Stern ztz"l says in sefer meish tam to keep a notebook and write in it after davening where your attention wandered off. This is to deter you from loosing attention, but some people may take it too hard on themselves

there was, in nazi-occupied poland, a system of underground learning headed by mattisyahu weiner. after the ghetto was obliterated, a diary of one of these secret bochurim was found. in it, he was writing abt how there was fire burning all around him. and he was suffering terribly and dying of starvation--he knew he wudn't live 'til tomorrow. he wondered if he shud throw himself into the fire and save himself from the last few hours of pain and absolute miserable suffering. but he didn't know if that was the ratzon Hashem.
then he thought of a story abt a marrano family that tried to keep torah 'til they were caught. then they ran away at the last moment and managed to get to a refugee camp in morocco. the conditions were terrible. their children began dying, and eventually the mother also died. the father told HKBH:
'i know that all these troubles and sufferings r a nisayon--to prove wether i still luv You and belive in You. until now, U have not broken me. i only have 2 things left--my life and my emunas Hashem and ahavas Hashem. if U want my life, U can have it. BUT IF U WANT TO TAKE AWAY MY EMUNAS HASHEM AND AHAVAS HASHEM, THESE U CAN NOT TAKE FROM ME. MY LOVE FOR U IS MINE AND MINE ALONE!"
so this bochur wrote in his dairy that at that moment he realized that these last few hours r the most important hours of his life. i have a battle w/ HKBH, and i can "win." i can prove my total and complete love for the Borei Olam, a love that i have never achieved before. wen it seems like there's no point to living nemore, that all hope is lost--THESE MAY BE THE MOST CRUCIAL MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE--THIS IS THE TIME TO PROVE TO HASHEM THAT NO MATTER HOW TOUGH IT GETS AND NO MATTER HOW HARD HE "TRIES", HE CAN NOT TAKE AWAY THAT PURE AND BEAUTIFUL LOVE THAT A YID HAS FOR HAKADOSH BARUCH HU. U CAN NEVER MAKE ME STOP LOVING U!
all relationships need communication--that communication is tefillah. this is where we are talking to Hashem. try talking to Him like u'd talk to your best friend, tell him all your problems, complaints. a friend that u talk to every day--even if it's abt the dumbest little things is far closer than a "once-a-month" friend that u only talk abt the big things.
a relationship--a close passionate relationship w/ Hashem is the tachlis ha'chaim of every single yid. therefore, we have to establish our relationship w/ the Borei Olam thru tefillah. and within urself u can cultivate and develop this passionate love for Hashem that's ur's and ur's alone.

Even when you don’t have kavana, still daven. You’re still making a connection with Hashem and it can help you later on

try using a different siddur
pause at designated points to redirect your mind

BEFORE davening, think of an inspirational Passuk or line
think: in this bracha I will concentrate for _ amount of minutes/seconds.
and do that. dont hurry.

Think I wont be done wwithn whatever part of davening before a certain time, see what time it is in the middle of davening that. If its before then, use more kavanna
The Bal Shem Tov says sometimes Hashem will help you and make something easier for you so that you can see how good it is. Like davening with kavanah - it's so great and gives you such a good feeling when you have a really good davening, right? But that is Hashem giving you the koach to do it. Which is fine, but it is a present from Him. Then, somewhere along the way, Hashem says "now you need to do it yourself so that it will really be YOUR davening and you can get more schar for it".

during the day say mini-tefillos

there was once a chasid that also had a lot of trouble with kavanah, and he told the rebbe his problem. the rebbe told him to come back the next day. The next day, the guy came to the rebbe's house and started knocking. At first, he thought that no one was home, cuz no one was opening the door. But then he saw the rebbe standing by the window and staring at him. The chasid knocked louder and harder, but the rebbe just stared at him. The chasid was so insulted that he just to turned around to leave. When he was halfway home, One of the rebbe's messengers came after him, and told him that the rebbe wanted him. The rebbe explained that when we're davening, bad thoughts or disturbing thoughts are sent by the yetzer hora. but it's OUR choice if we want to let them in or not. That's what he was trying to show him!

Think about all the people who don’t have the privilege to talk directly to Hashem, HaMelech Malachay Hamlachim.
I heard in the name of the Chofetz Chaim, though it may be from before him, a moshol: Someone was selling apples in the marketplace when a thief came along and grabbed at the fruits. A bystander told the seller not to stand by and watch what she had lost, but to grab whatever she can of what is left. The same with davening and all mitzvos. Even if you didn’t have kavana through most of davening, once you realize, no matter what you are up to try to concentrate as much as you can,, grab as much as you can! Don’t give up. And if you mess up again, don’t despair, keep trying.

III. Recommended Reading on Tefillah
Touched By A Prayer
Rav Schwab On Tefillah
Praying With Fire
Pathway To Prayer
The Siddur 'Hasidur Hameforash'

#2 ilavHashem



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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:38 PM

thnks so much!
i was wondering................
how do i get sum1 2 daven? i gave her a siddur with english so that she can just read that so as not to just sit there as every1 davens...but i feel like she will just get bored with it...its artscroll...uses sum olddd english...
i need a way to get her to daven and not see it as a chore?? any tips? (on a practical level for a 7th grader???)

#3 flybird



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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:28 PM

maybe you can find something to reward her with every time she davens? Positive reinforcement usually works best in the long run. Also 7th graders are usually starting to mature spiritually, so if you could find inspiring stories on tefillah, and give them to her every week or so, that would probably get her to want to daven more. Or, if you know someone who she really admires that would be willing to learn with her a book on davening, that would also help her a lot.
One big thing though is to take it slowly! I know for myself, because it was always hard for me to get myself to daven, that if I start by trying to say all of shacharis everyday, it doesnt work. If you can tell her once she gets inspired by something to just try davening birchos hashachar, and slowly add more, it'll probably stick more for long term. Tell her a little bit with a lot of kavanna is better than a lot with no kavanna.
I wish you lots of hatzlacha! :)