December 5, 2008 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #588812
For 13 years now, I’ve struggled with organized prayer. I really dont feel a strong connection for any of the tefilot that were written by others. More often than not, I say tefila just to be done and then have a real conversation with Hashem. I realize my own tefilot are not as perfect as the ones written by great Torah scholars, but they are the ones that really give me a good feeling and connection to Hashem.
I’ve learned the meaning of my tefilot, I’ve even tried saying them in English. I concetrate. They just dont feel like I am expressing myself. I feel like the words are stunted. I think tefila is very important, and I talk to Hashem all the time (in my own words) but I just cant get someone else’s words to mean what they should. I am starting to feel like “metoch lo leshma ba leshma” just really doesnt apply to me. How many years should it take? I came to this realization at 13 and here…13 years later…I still dont feel the connection.
Any advice on how to make tefila better for me?December 5, 2008 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #627159
book: “praying with fire”December 5, 2008 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #627160
There is a set a shmuzin on a website called http://www.theshmuz.com and look under shmuz sets (I believe) or search the site for shmuzin on tefillah.December 7, 2008 4:43 am at 4:43 am #627161
like feivel said, take a look at this book, “praying with fire.” im on my second round of reading it–maybe 5 minutes a night, and it really puts things into perspective.
im constantly having a hard time with davening, but this book really clarifies things and makes it so much easier to daven without a “how fast can i finish” or “i shudve slept late today”….now its, “take your time, this is your chance to build your relationship with Hashem!!” and “i cant believe i overslept”….it starts to become an integral part of you–we take it for granted that we dont have to daven minyan 🙂
hatzlacha raba and GLDecember 7, 2008 5:12 am at 5:12 am #627162
prepare to doven,
organize your thoughts,
relate to the tefilla, AND
ask HaKodesh Boruch Hu to help you doven.December 7, 2008 5:20 am at 5:20 am #627163
There is a sefer called Olas Tamid, it is in Hebrew and explains some of the tefilos.
You can also try Pathway to Prayer and Praying with Fire (I heard that praying with Fire is a best-seller among Chinese pyromaniacs 🙂 )December 9, 2008 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #627164
I would strongly urge you to join a Partners in Torah group – as a mentor, your own learning and appreciation for communicating with HKBH will be enhanced and you will be helping someone else at the same time.
Don’t give up, may you soon find real meaning and purpose in your tefilla!December 9, 2008 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #627165
Don’t stop saying the formal words, but also, say your own tefillos. We women especially, even if you’re not at the point of having lots of family obligations, specialize in informal prayer. (Men too can and should try it; it was after all a man, Dovid Hamelech, who said, “Vaani sefilasi.”)
And daven for others. Say tehillim and techinos on a regular basis. And don’t forget to say Thank You to Hashem as often as you can.
And you’re not the only one in this boat. I don’t know how many “regular” people are on 100% all the time. Rebbetzin Jaegar said something phenomenal on the Rochel Imeinu yahrtzeit video this year. She said that she asked her father for davening inspiration after she had kids and her davening experience just seemed to have plummeted. Rabbi Freifeld, zt”l said on the words of Yishtabach, HaBocher b’shirei zimrah, that it can be translated as Hashem Who chooses among the “sheraim” of song. Even if your tefillos were less than inspired, that is something very close to Hashem, He picks and chooses those very sheraim.December 10, 2008 2:55 am at 2:55 am #627166
now that tzippi mentioned it, a great way of actually FEELING like you have an actual, real, solid relationship with Hashem is literally talking to Him, and it can 100% be in your own language if Hebrew is too hard. i had a hard time davening altogether, until i really started cultivating a relationship! like i have conversations. its an amazing thing, because Hashem is so imminent, and not transcendent, like many pre-Chassidists liked to think.
during Shema Koleinu, right before “Ki Ata Shomeia” and in Elokai Netzor, right before “Yihiyu L’Ratzon Imrei Phi…” (or right after your personal passuk, if you say it.
just ask Hashem for whatever you need/want.
and remember, Hashem always answers, but sometimes the answer is NO. think that over a bit, it took me awhile to come to terms with it.
gl!December 10, 2008 3:25 am at 3:25 am #627167
the saddest part is that when things are hard it’s so easy to pray. the words just come. it hurts me to say this but when things are great, my tfilos are not all that hot. does anyone else notice this trend?December 10, 2008 5:00 am at 5:00 am #627168
of course. when Hashem sees that our tefillos are lax because we’re doing well, He sends us “reminders” that really everything is in His hands and not ours. nothing is kochi v’otzem adi, and when we think that way and become too comfy with our lives, Hashem needs to let us know Who’s in charge.
the tragedy in Mumbai brought Jews of every stripe together. and it created ahavas Yisroel. it inspired many women to light Shabbos candles for the first time. obviously the ideal thing is to be able to have all this WITHOUT a tragedy calling for it, bimheira biyameinu.December 10, 2008 5:57 am at 5:57 am #627169
i get what you’re saying but it’s not just that. i was saying how sad it is that it has to be that way. the the nature of a person is to cry and ask more than to thank and praise. you follow?December 10, 2008 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #627170
Thank you all for advice. I will try the Praying with Fire book.
I am not sure it will help at all though. My best tefilos are those that I say myself. I have a very close relationship with Hashem, its just the formal words mean nothing to me. Hashem doesnt need the praise thats written in there, Hashem doesnt need the structure…I just feel like its a waste.
I obviously wont stop, but its just very frustrating.
As to the easier to pray during hard times than good ones: try keeping this in mind on a human level too! Thank your parents and appreciate them, even when you dont need them (meaning at that moment, not forever).December 10, 2008 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #627171
Keep saying the words of the siddur. We may not always “feel” it but saying the words written by gedolim of the stature of the Anshei Knesses Hagedola, and Dovid Hamelech, really does great things in a cosmich way, for want of a better way to put it.December 10, 2008 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #627172
brooklyn i understand exactly what you are saying
try then to find others that are in tzar and TRY to pour your heart out for their sake
its not easy, thats why its called “Avodah”. you have to work on it, you have to practice, you have to keep trying
if you want to decrease the tzar in your life the way to do it is to daven when you have no tzar. ie please keep me healthy, please keep supporting me in such a generous way as you have been till now, please help ploni who needs your Yeshuah.December 10, 2008 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #627173
SJS: how well do you understand the lashon of the prayers? much of what you’re probably saying on your own is impimented into the standard tefila. maybe you should sit down and learn perush hamilim. then you won’t feel like it’s a waste – you’ll be able to really pray with kavana. just a thought.December 10, 2008 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #627174
brooklyn – I’ve learnt them in depth. I understand all the words. And yes, much of what I am saying is similiar to the written words, but it hits me differently because its what I’m saying.
Its like getting up to address a crowd with a speech written for you vs one that you wrote yourself. I prefer to write my own speeches.December 10, 2008 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #627175
well then i guess you gotta rehearse both and give them both. hopefully the first one won’t be too hard for you.December 11, 2008 3:24 am at 3:24 am #627176
–bkyln19, i “follow” you
–SJS: thats why were able to talk to Hashem in whatever way we want during the 2 tefillos i mentioned before…there are some halachic guidelines though, you can find it in praying with fire.December 11, 2008 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #627178
All serious minded peopleconsider the following:
Make your own minyan of people where no one is permitted to talk or say hello from the time you arrive until the time you leave. Beleve me it will work. Takes Guts!Good Luck!December 11, 2008 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #627179
ThinkStraight – I’m a woman and dont regularly go to minyan.
I dont really know how that would help with my personal kavanah though?
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