“If thou prepare thy heart, and stretch out thy hands towards him.” (Job )
Suppose you were to enter an important business meeting for your company, wouldn’t you prepare yourself before in order to make sure you would make a proper presentation? Only then would you enter the meeting and present it. How much more so should we prepare our heart and mind before standing in prayer towards the Holy One Blessed Be He.
“The King will answer us on the day of our calling.” (Psalms 20:10)
This pasuk can be explained through a mashal (parable). A child asked his father for a new bike and the father agreed that he deserves to be given one. The child was overjoyed with elation. The next morning he jumped out of bed and ran downstairs expecting to see his shiny new bike sitting there. To his dismay there was no bike. He later went to his father to ask why his new bike wasn’t waiting for him when he awoke. The father answered that when he asked him for a new bike he agreed that he deserved one, but the father had in mind to give it to him for his birthday, which wasn’t for another five months.
The same thing happens when we daven to Hashem for a need. Hashem, if we deserve, will “answer us on that day…” This doesn’t mean we will receive it that second. We will be given it in the right time.
“With his mouth and lips he gave Me honor, but his heart was far from me.” (Isaiah 29:13)
This pasuk in Isaiah is very pertinent to how we serve Hashem today. How many of us say a bracha after we eat something and then two seconds we question ourselves as to whether we said it? The majority of us are habitually frum. We lack the necessary ingredient of intension when we carry out our “service” of Hashem.
With my voice, I cry to Hashem. With my voice, I make supplication to Hashem. I pour out my complaint before Him. I declare before Him my trouble. (Psalms 142:2-3)
Why does it have to mention with my voice. Obviously, if I am making supplication, I am going to be speaking it. Everyone has an inner voice, a true realness to them; it is with this that we must call to Hashem.
If you have prepared your heart, spread out your hands to Him. (Job )
How many times do we begin our prayers without even thinking who it is that we are standing before? Spreading the hands is a sign of receiving but if you have not prepared your heart first, raising the hands would be frivolous.
“Take with you words and return to the Hashem.” (Hoshea 14:3)
If you don’t feel stronger after praying then you know you haven’t prayed properly. Should you have davened correctly, you will be able to take with you your tefillos that day.
“He will call me, and I will answer him. I am with him in affliction.” (Psalms 91:15)
Whenever a parent disciplines a child, during the same time, they are eagerly awaiting to embrace them should they call out to them in truth.
“Yitzchok went out to mediate in the field towards evening.” (Genesis 4:63)
Why did Yitzchok go out to a field to pray? This is because when you are standing in a field; you realize how small you really are.
“The children of
Hashem is very merciful but when you cry out to Him, he is aroused all the more in his mercifulness. That is, if we cry to Him like we are His children.
“Call Me, and I will answer you”. (Jeremah 33:3)
Sometimes we just recite the words but to actually call Hashem, to call him with our heart, this we don’t do.
“Cast your burden upon Hashem, and He will sustain you.” (Psalms 55:23)
There is a difference between praying for salvation and actually handing your problems over to Hashem. If you cast your burden upon Hashem, there is nothing more to worry about, Hashem will find the appropriate solution.
“The children of
When you look straight ahead or down, you can only see so far but when you look up, you see the furthest because the heavens are the clearest. This is why we use the analogy of the lifting of the eyes to heaven. Just like heaven is infinite, so is Hashem and it is to Him that we look for salvation.
“Hashem is close to all who call Him, to all who call Him in truth. (Psalms 145:18)
When we pray to Hashem, we should think to ourselves, did I say even one word truthfully?
“Let my prayer be set forth as incense before You, the lifting of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” (Psalms 141:2)
How does incense give off an odor? It burns a piece of plant like substance. So too, we must set aflame our hearts, melting the evil attached to us and then lift our hearts to heaven.
“Yitzchok entreated Hashem and Hashem let Himself be entreated.” (Genesis 25:21)
If you approach a person with honor and respect, even if they do not agree with you, many of times they will leave their own thoughts behind.
“I poured out my soul before Hashem.” (1 Samuel 1:15)
Normally when you pour something, you have to watch that it doesn’t spill. When you poor out your soul before Hashem, it can be anywhere and at anytime and you do not have to worry about pouring it “to” something. Not one word will be wasted or lost.
“I pleaded to Hashem at that time”. (Deuteronomy 3:23)
The entire purpose of obstacles in life is in order for a person to turn to Hashem. Therefore, a person shouldn’t wait to turn to Hashem but do so immediately in his time of need.
“All my bones will say, ‘O Hashem, who is like You’” (Psalms 35:10)
How does one reach this level of their bones speaking to Hashem? When their prayer is like a sacrifice, in that they are willing to give their life to Hashem that very moment to do His will.
“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and the flame will not kindle upon you. (Michah 43:2)
When you draw close to Hashem in prayer, when the fire burns in your heart so strongly that you feel you could leave this world, worry not because you will not be burnt, Hashem will save you. Continue on your quest to seek Him out.
Hashem save us! The King will answer us on the day of our calling (Psalms )
“Take with you words”. (Hosea 14:2)
“And man became a living soul”. (Genesis 2:7)
“Channa spoke in her heart.” (1 Samuel 1:13)