September 8, 2011 1:02 am at 1:02 am #599258
I guess what I really want to know is what will get me to push everything else aside so I can use that time for davening?September 8, 2011 1:46 am at 1:46 am #807967
You might want to try to lower your expectations of yourself a bit.
If you haven’t been davening you need to make davening/speaking with H’sh-em meaningful. Aim small with your goals and try to keep that up for a day or two and see how that feels. Think about what’s meaningful to you, what you hope for or need help with and then try to find tehillim that have some common language with those ideas. Also, you might want to temporarily choose the most primary tefilos instead of saying the entire psukei d’zimra, which requires a much bigger commitment of time and energy.September 8, 2011 1:48 am at 1:48 am #807968
in this case since ur emunah and desire dont seem to pushing u, u just have to DO IT! like right now go open a siddur and say a perek of tehilim… see how it feels.. right this second RIGHT NOW GO!September 8, 2011 1:49 am at 1:49 am #807969
I would start slowly, start in the language you are comfortable with and talk to HAshem. Tell him what you are feeling and going through…he wants to hear from you more than you realize.September 8, 2011 1:51 am at 1:51 am #807970
i think u should think to yourself, “Right now i have the chance to talk to the KING of the universe who controls everything that happens in my life and i can ask for anything and thank Him for everything i have!USE THIS OPPORTUNITY.
and if that type of stuff doesnt work,.. i’m the type that if i write like a list of stuff that need to be done, i always like to check it off and finish it and it feels good at the end when u finished ur whole list.. soo back when i used to have a hard time praying mincha, i used to add it to my list of things to do[even if they did not relate at all :).. anyway i would always end up praying because i knew i wanted to check it off.September 8, 2011 2:17 am at 2:17 am #807971
why don’t you try to pick out a small part of davening to start with and just say that. something like Brachos and Shema. When that becomes normal then add pieces.September 8, 2011 2:26 am at 2:26 am #807972
well, first think about why you want to daven. If it’s a feeling that you cant really explain, or is more intellectual than emotional, do you think you would have an easier time learning about tefillah and its importance? Maybe will a little added inspiration you will be able to overcome that feeling when you just get up.
Also, a Rebbe of mine used to suggest planting physical reminders of what we want to do and those moments of clarity we sometimes have. Maybe it means putting a post-it note above your bed telling yourself to daven, or your siddur on top of your alarm. If it takes guilt to get you started, shelo lishma ba lishmah.
Another alternative could be to say you will put x amount of money in tzedaka if you miss davening on purpose. I know of people who have been successful using this in other areas.
Hope this helps, much hatzlacha, and yashar kochachaSeptember 8, 2011 3:09 am at 3:09 am #807973
As Divrei Chayim said ” I daven every day that I should be able to daven”!September 8, 2011 3:45 am at 3:45 am #807974
I like mikehall’s approach. Try just talking to G-d in your own words, first. It doesn’t have to be for a long time. The main thing would be just to make you more comfortable talking to Him about things. Once you really develop a connection with Him, and are comfortable with it and view it as a positive experience, maybe then pick some parts of davening that you enjoy or understand well and try davening those. I think you’ll get a better appreciation for davening with this method.September 8, 2011 3:51 am at 3:51 am #807975
Maybe start by talking to Hashem in your own words and then build up.
Hatzlacha!September 8, 2011 4:55 am at 4:55 am #807976
Thanks, mommamia22. Your advice is very helpful.
mikehall12382, In my mind I know that G-d wants to hear my tefilos, but I don’t feel that in my heart, I guess. I’m trying to work on that–believing that He DOES care.
workinonit, LOL. You should be my alarm clock!
brotherofurs, lists used to work for me, but not anymore. It’s a good suggestion, though. Thanks 🙂
commonsense, good idea, thanks!
yid.period, I’m not really sure why I stopped, and I’m not entirely sure why I want to daven. I feel like it something I have to do, just like I keep all the other mitzvos.
MiddlePath and kapusta: good advice. I have done that in the past–just talked to G-d–but I always felt like it was useless, that He wasn’t listening. I guess I feel ignored. I’m not really sure.September 8, 2011 5:55 am at 5:55 am #807977
Why do you want to daven?September 8, 2011 7:17 am at 7:17 am #807978
QB: I feel that sometimes davening gets a bad rap because someone davens for something and they never saw the results. Try davening for the little things. Ask for a good day, ask to get where you’re going safely etc. Try it, it works. (Maybe most of all, ask to be able to daven!)September 8, 2011 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm #807980
Queen Bee…often our mind and heart aren’t on the same page. There is always internal struggle. Thats what it is to be a human. The fact that even though you don’t Daven now, but want to is HUGE…It’s takes a lot to look at oneself and want to try to change things…Even if you don’t change anything right now, but think about changing is a great accomplishment…The fact that you are struggling with Emunah is good, To clarify, I’d rather struggle, then totally let it slip away…
I would check out Rabbi Lazer Brody website, He deals a lot with struggling with Emunah and has some wonderful advise.September 8, 2011 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #807981
I would say this is a shaylas chocham(ah). Obviously davening to you is not just simply mumbling words under your breath. How can you expect to push yourself to daven when you still have questions hovering around in the back of your mind. Instead you should be proud of yourself that you are true to your heart (this is called tocho k’boro) and instead focus your energy on learning seforim that will answer your questions.September 8, 2011 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #807982
popa_bar_abba, I think the right answer should be that I want to daven so that I can have a closer connection to G-d. But I’m not sure that’s the reason I want to daven. I just feel like I NEED to because it’s the right thing to do, just like I make a bracha before eating or wash my hands before eating bread, or like I don’t turn on the computer on shabbos.
mikehall12382, thanks so much :). I’ll check it out.
kapusta, I guess that’s really the problem. When I don’t daven and things don’t go right, I can blame myself because I didn’t daven for a good day, so what can I expect? But when I DO daven, and things go bad, the one I blame is G-d. I know that’s wrong and things happen for a reason, even if we don’t understand, but I still feel hesitiant. I feel I’m being selfish because there are people who go through horrific things, and I shouldn’t complain.
Derech HaMelech, I’m trying to find shiurim online about the importance of tefila. Just need to find the time to listen to them!
I feel a little embarrased that I’m struggling with this issue. It seems something teens go through and by the time they reach my age they have it figured out (I was the exact opposite as a teen–I was very strong in my beliefs). Guess that’s what I get for pushing aside the issue this long.
Also, I davened a bit this morning. I didn’t feel any different. I wanted to feel better, closer to G-d, but…nothing. The one thing I did feel was proud that I promised myself I’d do it, and I did it.September 8, 2011 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #807983
Ok, so that is the answer then. You need to figure out why you want to daven, and if it is a good reason you will do it.
The reason you give, because you “need to because it is the right thing to do”, does not sound very motivating to me.
You are correct, if you are going to do it, you will need to want to. Now, feeling guilty for not wanting to will definitely not help you, and doesn’t make sense either.September 8, 2011 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #807984
Don’t worry about parts of Davening to begin with. Find a song that really makes you feel, listen to it, and let the words follow from there.September 8, 2011 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #807985
Queen Bee, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about that. I still struggle with it, too, sometimes. We all do, on varying levels. But we are at our peak in our faith when we see, or at least choose to see, the hand of G-d in our lives. Someone who denies the existence of G-d will refuse to see Him in anything, no matter how obvious it is, and someone who believes in G-d can always see Him in everything. And that makes life more meaningful. Yes, I have lapses too, and there are times when I really don’t feel connected to G-d or feel that He has forgotten about me, but I try to maintain an attitude of being open to seeing Him in my life, and with that attitude, I can usually bounce back. Once I do see Him in my life, it makes it a lot easier for me to daven to Him and learn Torah.
Not sure if this helps, but it might be a way to assist you in finding purpose and fulfillment in davening and maybe even a general better relationship with G-d.September 8, 2011 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #807986
When I was going through a really really hard time in HS, I too couldn’t daven (still can’t really) but I would always sing ani maamin to myself whenever I felt down or alone. The words just had such an impression on me and when I sang it, I didn’t feel quite so alone. Yes, I know it’s not davening itself but I think I was still talking to GD just using different words.September 8, 2011 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #807987
Challenges that go “unresolved” can make us feel very alone, and those feelings would be naturally more pronounced after investing time and effort to ask for help with, what seems like, no response.
I remember when I went to the kotel the first time, all my classmates from seminary were looking at me awaiting some awestruck response to the place (kedusha) where we were at. I felt nothing (like if you were, lehavdil, staring at a brick wall and people expected your jaw to drop) and was ashamed I felt nothing. I later came to understand that a large part of that experience is actually having a connection to H’sh-em, which I had, as yet, to build. Part of my connection and feeling was built on the frequency that I visited the kotel, and I think it’s the same with davening. It won’t feel meaningful talking to “someone” who is like a stranger, but that’s ok. All relationships are awkward in the beginning. Give yourself time, and forgive yourself for feeling mad and abandoned. If all your tefilla consists of telling H’sh-em that you’re mad at Him for not being there for you in the way you feel you need and to please help you build your bitachon to accept what comes your way, that is a really meaningful tefilla. Just by talking to H’sh-em you are acknowledging that He is the Borei Olam and the source of where to turn for help. It’s like building a muscle; the more you use it (talking to H’sh-em) the stronger it gets. I think there are some sources that say that, for a woman, simply saying a bakosha is sufficient.September 8, 2011 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #807988
Thanks, popa_bar_abba and Sam2 🙂
MiddlePath and happiest, I’m glad others struggle, too. Thanks for the inspiration. I know Hashem is everywhere and that He controls everything, and I need to understand that He trully cares about me, even though He doesn’t show it sometimes.
mommamia22, thanks for your personal story. It definitely makes me see things clearer.September 8, 2011 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #807989
I checked out rav brody’s website. Amazing. I found what he wrote today very inspirational.
Check it out. It shook me in my boots to start working on myself more. Maybe you’ll feel the same way.September 8, 2011 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #807990
I struggle with the same thing even though I didn’t say it. You’re just more courageous to share your issues in order to get the help. I’ve decided to work on my emunah at this time (with less formal tefillah/mainly tehillim that I know by heart and bakashos. I took on the role of being frummer faster than I was ready for. Now I have to backtrack and work on myself more slowly/baby steps and acknowledge where I’m at versus where I’m not yet at, so that I can grow in a more solid way.September 8, 2011 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #807991
This might work:
Try to find a song that inspires you, and find the words to that song in the siddur or tehillim.
Then, learn the meaning of the words. That way, tefillah won’t be an empty, rote chore. It will be someting that springs to life and jumps off the page.
When we lain the tochacha, it sounds very scary. But sandwitched in between is a few lines of hope, that (when sung to the tune that the Piamentas made famous) it sounds very comforting.
Bottom line: prayer is communication. Do it in a way that helps you connect.September 8, 2011 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #807992
mommamia22…I have sent him emails and he responds very quickly…short but to the point…You should Sign up for his emails…September 8, 2011 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #807993
Thanks, everyone 🙂September 8, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm #807994
Mike hall… What kind of e-mails do you send him?September 9, 2011 1:06 am at 1:06 am #807995
Momma…just some feedback on some of his posts…nothing too deep…Also questions regarding his speeking tours. Apparently he is friends with rabbi Wallerstein, they have both made references to one another several times. it’s nice to see two Ravs from different orthodox streams respect on another…we all should take a lesson from that.September 11, 2011 4:05 am at 4:05 am #807996
I know how hard it can be to daven. For me the hardest part is (a) allocating that looming amount of time to it and (b) actually getting yourself up out of that warm cozy bed to do it.
So I suggest you try something like this: Decide that from now on, you’re going to say Shma in the morning. That’s all you have to do. It’s short, so you don’t have to convince yourself to dedicate time to it, and you can also do it while sitting, so you can technically just sit up and say it at the edge of your bed in your pajamas. Just saying Shma should be a way to do it without that intimidation davening can have. You don’t even have to wake up early. Just tell yourself that that much you can do, that that much you really want to try to do, and set your mind to it. Just Shma. But while you’re saying it, if you feel you can, try thinking about the different kavanos you’re supposed to have – with Hashem meaning rachamim, as well as adnus and haya hove v’yihiye, and Elokeinu meaning din, and echad meaning those two coming together, and all the other myriad of things echad can mean (being all-encompassing, being all-important, etc.) Put real thought into it. The important thing is for you to feel that you’re doing something meaningful, and when you understand what you’re saying you can help it become meaningful. And hopefully, if you do this for long enough, you can train/bring your mind to be more open to the thought of davening, and then maybe you can start taking on more of the davening at some later point.
The idea is not to push yourself. Hopefully just saying Shma will not be intimidating enough and you’ll be able to carry through with it. You do want to daven. It’s not that you don’t. You tried to set your alarm to get yourself to do it, so you really are trying. But trying to force yourself to just get up and daven after so many years of not davening is just too huge of a jump. You have to ease into it slowly. Ease into it, get yourself accustomed to what it’s like again, and once you can see (vs just imagine) that davening really isn’t so bad, only then can you attempt to do more. But for now, WHATEVER you do is AMAZING. Don’t let your yetzer hara talk you into an all-or-nothing mentality, because as you’ve seen yourself, that way you end up with the “nothing”.
I hope this helped a bit, good luck!September 11, 2011 4:15 am at 4:15 am #807997
am yisrael chaiParticipant
“But for now, WHATEVER you do is AMAZING.”
I just heard a shiur which continues this theme.
At this time of year when people are busy asking for mechila, you should also FORGIVE YOURSELF if you are floundering and not making enough progress (in your estimation) based upon your high expectations of yourself. (R Weinreb)September 11, 2011 5:50 am at 5:50 am #807998
Thanks so much for your post. It’s really helpful. I’m going to try to daven shema and shmoneh esrai every morning. Yeah, taking upon davening after so many years of not davening is really hard. I hope I’ll slowly get back into it.
am yisrael chai,
Thanks so much for sharing.
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