Why I can't daven

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    I posted this on another thread but was told to open a new thread for it so here I am doing so:)

    I don’t daven because I have a lot of anger at GD right now for a lot of the things that are happening to me currently and that did happen to me in the past. But I’m wondering… maybe GD is doing these things to me because I am NOT davening. Is this a catch22?

    I just can’t bring myself to do it for some reason. It’s a big deal for me if I say modeh ani in the morning because I don’t feel happy to be alive in the morning… am I making any sense?

    And sorry again if this is the wrong place for this post!


    Happiest, I went through a phase when I couldn’t bring myself to daven either, for similar reasons (Anger, frustration, abused,..). But the truth is, it didn’t make me feel any better, and my life didn’t get any better because of it. I also knew that Judaism is correct, and that Hashem is the only real G-d, and whether or not I understand or agree with Him and His methods, it shouldn’t prevent me from “talking” to Him about things. Which is when I started davening again. At that point, I didn’t really daven all the prayers, I just said things that I felt inside and just feeling a connection to G-d through talking to Him made me feel better. If it’s too hard to say Modeh Ani, or any other “standardized” prayer, just try talking to G-d in your own words. Make any connection you can, and hopefully, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for prayer after a little while.

    am yisrael chai

    Instead of focusing on not davening, try to focus on gratitude. It’s a process. You’ve had what seems like negative experiences happen to you (btw, they happen to everyone). The process is to focus on those things that are going right/correctly in your life.

    Find that half-full glass. Once you do, joie-de-vivre kicks in automatically. And so does bitachon that whatever Hashem has dealt you is inevitably in your best interest.

    Can’t wait to see when you are truly HAPPIEST!

    minyan gal

    I agree with Middle Path. In fact, at my shul during the silent Amidah, they say “use the Hebrew, the English, or words of your own choosing”. One of my friends said that many times she just talks to Hashem about problems that she is having and afterward she feels much better. I haven’t needed to do that as yet, but certainly would. After a few conversations in “words of your own choosing”, the feelings that you once had while davening may return. It is worth a try.


    happiest…Rabbi Lazer Brody, who runs a fanastic site called http://www.lazerbrody.typepad.com ,talks about devoting time each day to talking with Hashem…using your own words…try pouring out your heart, Maybe this is a start?


    It’s not my place to judge u!

    However, the Chofetz Chaim writes that Hashem loves a Yid more than anything else.

    We know from Tehillim, that when one has anguish, HBH is with him and feels his pain.

    Davening with tears,goes along way.

    I am talking from experience.

    Hashem, should take u out of your difficult situation soon!!


    HOLD ON TIGHT!! I’m also struggling a lot with davening lately-you make 100% sense! You’ll get through this! Hashem knows why you can’t daven and what you’re feeling and he judges accordingly. Yes, he knows how much pain you’re in right now too!


    It’s not a catch 22 at all the way I see it is that if your not in trusting that whatever hashem does is for our good then it’s much harder for you to see hasgacha Pratis that happens on a regular basis, I would advise to take a step back andvda en for a week doesn’t have to be the davening in the sidur just acknowledging that you trust that hashem is watching over you and you will start seeing the good side of whatever is happening try it


    Rav Shimshon Pincus writes in Shaarim B’Tefillah about Tzaaka which is one of the 13 loshonos of tefilla that it is crying out to Hashem without words which could mean without the ability to put ones feeling into words and Chazal say this prayer is very powerful and can break gezeiras!!

    Feif Un

    If you’re angry at God, it means that you recognize that He’s responsible for what is happening to you. That, at least, is a good start.


    excellent point feif


    Not sure if this applies to you but another point is don’t sit around and wait for others to help you you have a responsibility to keep yourself healthy In in the head, you gotta grab life by the horns and make yourself a better life



    “I just can’t bring myself to do it for some reason. It’s a big deal for me if I say modeh ani in the morning because I don’t feel happy to be alive in the morning… am I making any sense?”

    Of course it makes sense. Hashem runs the world, so if you don’t currently see how everything happening to you is for the good, it adds up that you would not want to thank Hashem.

    However, I think two very good suggestions have been said so far:

    1) Focus on what Hashem is giving you, and all that Hashem is making go right in your life. Think about the people that cannot see, and think – thank you Hashem for letting me see! Realize how desperately some people would love be able to walk, and think – thank you Hashem for letting me walk! The list goes on and on – thank Hashem for your body, for your economic situation, for mental health, for your friends, etc etc. I fyou set aside a certain time every day to think for 30-60 seconds about one thing Hashem is giving to you, it may go a long way to changing your mindset.

    Also, another great suggestion is to “pour out your heart” to Hashem every day. This can make your connection with Hashem alot more real.

    minyan gal:

    “at my shul during the silent Amidah, they say “use the Hebrew, the English, or words of your own choosing”. One of my friends said that many times she just talks to Hashem about problems that she is having and afterward she feels much better. I haven’t needed to do that as yet, but certainly would.”

    I’m sorry, but that is not the way to do things. Davening must retain the form it was set up in by the anshei knesses hagidola. Talking to Hashem is beautiful and to be commended, but must be done together with Davening, not take the place of Davening.



    That is fine. You should not feel guilty about not wanting to daven, and if it really bothers you to daven, then you should just say the minimum halacha requires and leave it at that.

    Happiest; you are a good person. You are trying your best. The situation you find yourself in is not your fault, and the way it makes you feel is not your fault. Hashem only judges us according to how hard it is for us, and probably this is just too hard for you. You are a good person.

    And if you ever do feel like asking Hashem for something, then ask for it. And when that happens, then you’ll mean it. And that’s what Hashem really wants.


    I don’t think it is wrong to be angry with HAshem, just as a child can be angry with his parents, when they have to be strict and say NO to us…at least when you are angry, you still recognize “HE” exists…being angry and still believing is HUGE!

    I don’t think letting HAshem know you are angry is wrong..of course he already knows that, but speaking to him in your own words can do wonders….Breslovers try to do it every day….

    Another name

    Happiest, I am so sorry that you feel that way. You seem to be in a lot of pain, which you are dealing with as well as you can.

    You don’t give yourself enough credit. You are stuck overcoming difficult obstacles when things are looking down. But that doesn’t mean that you are doing great. I am quite confident that you are trying very hard to be the very best ‘happiest’ that you can be. In your situation, one cannot expect better. You are doing the best with the package that you were given.

    IY”H, you will reach the stage where it is easier to talk to Hashem and where it is easier to see the good. Right now though, your job is to recognize your goodness, and use your tools to help yourself reach your true potential.

    You are on the way! Much hatzlacha!


    I agree with poppa. It is very hard to daven when you feel angry at Hashem. It is better to daven the minimum, maybe a shema and shemone esrei once a day. It is clear that even when your bitachon is weaker, your emunah stays very strong.

    So I think that at least when you are davening shemoneh esrei you can have in mind that you are not doing it for yourself, but despite your anger with Hashem, you are davening for the rest of the klal that needs your tefilos. In this way, you can still daven until you are able to work past your negative feelings.

    All that aside. I suggest you look for anything [kosher] at all you can do, that will give you sipuk hanefesh and simchas hachaim. This should be your overriding concern. Someone like you who is able to maintain such a strong emunah even in a difficult time, will be able to fly to the stars once you can find simcha. The yetzer hara clearly agrees with me on that and is doing all he can to prevent it. You must do all you can to fight him on this.


    Hi everyone. I skimmed everyones comments but honestly just don’t have the energy to concentrate and reply to each one so iy”H I will do that tom.

    I just want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone on this site for being so so supportive!! Hashem should bless all of you with happiness and bracha and parnassa forever!!!



    “I don’t think it is wrong to be angry with HAshem”

    I wouldn’t take it that far. I’m pretty sure that one is not supposed to be meharher after the ways of Hashem.


    “I just want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone on this site for being so so supportive!!”

    I told you it’s worth it opening a new thread 🙂 But seriously, mi ki’amcha yisroel!

    “Hashem should bless all of you with happiness and bracha and parnassa forever!!!”


    Feif Un

    A friend of mine once asked R’ Dishon something similar at a Shabbaton for couples going through infertility. It was R’ Dishon who made the point I said earlier – being angry at God means you realize He’s responsible for it. He said hat doesn’t mean it’s ok – anger is a bad middah, and must be avoided. Bitachon is realizing that everything that happens is the best thing that can happen for you. If we work on our bitachon, we also decrease our anger, because we realize that we should be thankful, not angry, even when something happens that seems bad.


    Happiest, first I would like to send you a huge bear hug because everyone can use a hug everyday especially when they are hurting inside. Second, when you are angry at someone it is very difficult to show compassion towards them or serve them with the same focus, attention and energy than when you are on good terms with them. Davening would fall into that category. We are obligated to show hakaros hatov and to daven to Hashem, so if you do it grudgingly, obvious it would be a very difficult task or it would be done completely without meaning.

    I am wondering if the words of Tehillim would be a nechama for you. Some times when I am feeling angry and frustrated instead of davening I turn to Tehillim to feel better because it expresses such a huge array of feelings and emotions. No matter which kapitel you turn to, you can correlate something in there to something that is going on with you or at the very least an emotion you are in touch with. And obviously it is possible that the tears will flow, but that is fine. At times I read the words of my Tehillim right through the anger and the tears until I felt better, validated and reassured.

    When you daven the same teffilos everyday, I don’t believe we always pay attention or really understand the words. On the other hand when we pick up a Tehilllim we usually say it with such Kavonah, as if we want to rip an answer from its pages or we are begging for an immediate result.

    That is how I feel and the difference for me. Is it possible that you feel differently about Tehillim and that you can try to say some Tehillim just to soothe your own inner turmoil?


    Look up to the sky. Take in its vastness. Look further and further, try to see its end. Then realize that beyond that is a whole new world consisting of only Malachim. Think about the vastness of all this while still looking up. Beyond that still, is another world, that is centered around the Kisei Hakavod. And beyond that there is only G-dlyness. Hashem is king of all this!

    While it’s nice to Daven as if you are having a personal conversation, don’t lose sight of the Melech Malchei Hamlachim. Think about that before saying, “I’m angry at You”, again.

    We say in Modem Derabbonon, Al Sheanachnu Modim Lach, which means that we thank Hashem for the privilege of being able to thank Him. We are tiny creatures who where just lucky enough to have recieved the Torah and where given the duty of praising Hashem. Try getting through to a successful CEO to tell him you like his tie. And yet, you have the availability to speak your heart to the King of Kings, the Ruler of all of nature, Master of what is below and what is above, and He listens.


    Still don’t have time to answer right now but just wanted to let everyone know that I said krias shema last night (half atleast) and put in a personal tefila too afterwards. Honestly, I don’t and didn’t at the time feel any different but maybe I just need to make a habit out of doing it and then I will feel some relief or even reassurance or something like that.

    Thanks everyone!


    Give it a full week

    am yisrael chai

    “It’s a big deal for me if I say modeh ani in the morning”

    One ????? for ??? ??????? is that Hashem has great confidence and trust IN US. Hashem knows that you will get past this challenge after you put in a whole lot of work on it. And then you’ll have developed strong spiritual muscles from the difficult experience.

    It’s like the story when Hashem tells a person to move a huge boulder from blocking his front door. The guy pushes & pushes to no avail; the rock doesn’t budge. The man complains that he’s not getting anywhere…Hashem counters, “Did you see the muscles you’ve developed in your arms??!”

    BTW, when I read that you said shma last night, I was thinking,

    ?? ???? ??????!!!

    Despite your struggles, you still connected! Way to go!


    mods did you delete a post of mine from this thread?



    y’know, maybe if you START davening even if your heart is not in it, you’ll end up really meaning it… i got this advice from my rabi, and it’s working for me 🙂

    Another name

    happiest, Thank you for the update! You keep proving yourself more and more. My respect for you keeps increasing! Much hatzlacha!

    ☕️coffee addict

    I don’t daven because I have a lot of anger at GD right now for a lot of the things that are happening to me currently and that did happen to me in the past. But I’m wondering… maybe GD is doing these things to me because I am NOT davening. Is this a catch22?

    the Torah says if you go like things are by chance I’ll just leave it to chance


    I am feeling the same as you. I try to go to a Shiur before Mincha on Shabbos and then stay for Mincha. Sometimes I can go on Friday night. I have a hard time going Shabbos morning.

    I don’t actually think there is something so wrong with this. I have personal reasons why I don’t like going to a Shule. I feel better not going than if I go.

    I am open to this changing in the future but why should i force myself to be in a place where i am very unhappy?


    Thanks everyone. For real, everyone on this site is just unbelievable!!!

    I feel horrible. I just don’t have the energy to answer right now. I should not have started a thread if I couldn’t come back to it. Right now, I just don’t have energy for very much (yes, that’s depression talking). I hope, iy”H to be able to answer in the near future. I apologize again!!!


    Hey man don’t worry about it, come back when you can.


    You can speak to G-d & say your angry at him & why.

    I wanna add that if you do this you will have a strong connection to G-d because after this situation will pass your relationship with Hashem will be as real as anything.

    Another name

    happiest, “chayecha kodmim!” Take care of yourself first. We look forward to hearing from you when you are up to it. Feel good!


    I agree to adams


    What resources did you use when learning or reviewing tefillah? I don’t know if it will work for others, but it has helped me to have had a strong intellectual treatment of the purpose, structure, and order of our prayers, and how they are so central a statement of Jewish “theology”. (I put it in quotes because it is really something that Christians put a lot of emphasis on and I don’t think that is exactly comparable to anything in Judaism.)

    Three resources that have been particularly helpful to me that I can recommend:

    ‘??? ? by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato. There is an English-Hebrew version with a translation by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan z’tz’l published by Feldheim. I went through multiple detailed passes through it with a rabbi. The last section is about tefillah but it builds on everything earlier in the sefer.

    Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ commentary in the recently published Koren Hebrew/English siddur.

    The commentary by Rav Soloveitchik z’tz’l in recently published machzorim for the Yomim Noraim.

    Not only have these enhanced my intellectual understanding of what the prayers are about, and to Whom I am addressing my prayers, it helps me with I’m in one of those minyans where it seems that everyone is just going through the motions at best. I can often shut them out, concentrate on the words, and talk to God rather than to the Shul Talkers. They also increased my admiration of our great sages who commissioned these brilliant prayers.

    I hope this might help someone.

    All the best!



    PS Charlie, is that a Rabbi Luzatto siddur?


    I’m female, have had same problem as Mr. Happiest.
    Love to hear anyone comment on this applying it for women.


    How about women who have this same issue?

    I. M. Shluffin

    Hi Searcher – it sounds like you are assuming that the OP is a male and all of the comments are directed towards men. I would say that all of the points that were made – and there were some very meaningful and practical ones – are equally applicable to men and women.
    It can be excruciating, confusing, and even terrifying to feel stuck between “I’m in so much pain and can’t bring myself to daven to the source of my pain” and “Maybe my not davening is the source of my pain,” while also feeling “But I tried davening yesterday and it didn’t get any better, so why bother”.
    One thing I want to make clear is that there is no reason to feel shame in not davening. Davening is an opportunity to connect, to have a conversation, to lift yourself spiritually, to tap into the reserves of brachos that Hashem has for us, and yes, to change the natural order. Yes, there are halachic requirements, even for a woman. But you can fulfill that obligation pretty easily, depending on which mehalech you follow. According to some, you can simply say “Hi, Hashem. Please grant me strength today. Thanks.” Davening is an opportunity for growth and connection, but there’s absolutely no reason to feel like you’re a bad person for not opening up a siddur when you’re in pain.
    The Jews in Mitzrayim were under such agony that all they could do was groan, and Hashem heard that as a prayer. Why? Because when a non-Jew groans and screams, he’s essentially saying “G-d, I can’t take it anymore.” When a Jew groans and screams, he/she is essentially saying “G-d, help me.” It’s simply the inner essence of a Jew. Our neshamos cry out to Hashem when we’re in pain, and that silent prayer has a direct connection to the Master of the World. Hashem hears you. Make no mistake about it. Hashem hears you, and He’s crying with you, and He is holding you every step of the way, even when you can’t feel it. This is the nature of our galus, as well – that He is hidden behind a curtain and we can’t feel that He’s there. It’s a very normal feeling to think that He’s nowhere to be found. We’re so used to seeing things with our eyes, and it’s difficult to imagine something we cannot see. Sometimes we can feel like we’re groping around in the dark and there’s no one to help us. Don’t think you’re the only one. But He’s there. He’s here. Hashem is right here, and He loves you so much, and holding your hand, and He’s with you in your pain and He’s davening with you. Read and reread the words of hope in this thread and find something small that will carry you through today. Hashem’s got you, and you got this.

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