Weâ€™re in a crisis situation. A situation which calls for us to storm the heavens with our prayers. So we step into our Shemoneh Esrai committed to do our best, and before we know it weâ€™ve lost focus. What can we do? The first thing to know is that youâ€™re not alone, almost everybody has the davening problem to some degree. The second thing to know is that we can improve. Hereâ€™s a path.
Davening is about connecting to Hashem in heart and mind. To connect to Hashem, we have to think about Hashem. A very important time to think about Hashem is when weâ€™re praying and saying His Name. The Shulchan Aruch teaches that when saying the name Hashem, â€œwe should concentrate on the meaning of how it is read, referring to His Lordship, that He is the Master of all.â€
The Shulchan Aruch also says that â€œwe should concentrate on (how it is written) the Yud-Hei â€“ that He was, is, and always will beâ€, but the Mishna Berurah brings down in the name of the Gra, that this second meaning is only required when we say Hashemâ€™s name in the Shema.
Is there any doubt in our mind that Hashem is the Master of all? He has brought the entire world to a standstill before our very eyes! When we say Hashemâ€™s name in the brochos of Shomoneh Esrai, we should think and recognize that Hashem is the Master of all.
Start with the the first Brocha. If you catch yourself wandering in the middle of any brocha, bring yourself back to thinking about Hashemâ€™s name when you conclude the Brocha. Donâ€™t get discouraged when youâ€™re not successful, just keep on making the effort. With repeated step by step effort, youâ€™ll develop the ability to focus on Hashemâ€™s name during davening.
We have to do our stop-the-spread hishtadlus. But more importantly, we have to turn and think about the Master of all in prayer. If not now, when?
Cross Posted on http://www.shulpolitics.com/