5*ser,ant %e&s are "onstantly reminded o G-d.-s presen"e and o ourrelationship &ith G-d/ *e"ause &e are "ontinually praying to )im( 5ur frst thought in the morning/ e,en *eore &e get out o *ed/ is a prayer thanking G-d or returning our souls to us( There are prayers to*e re"ited *eore en0oying any material pleasure/ su"h as eating or &earing ne& "lothes' prayers to re"ite *eore perorming any mit4,ah6"ommandment7/ su"h as &ashing hands or lighting "andles' prayers to re"ite upon seeing anything unusual/ su"h as a king/ a rain*o&/ or the site o a great tragedy' prayers to re"ite &hene,er some good or *ad thing happens' and prayers to re"ite *eore going to *ed at night(#ll o these prayers are in addition to ormal prayer ser,i"es/ &hi"h are perormed three times a day e,ery &eekday and additional times on sha**at and esti,als( $ee %e&ish Liturgy(
The Need or Prayer
Many people today do not see the need or regular/ ormal prayer( 2+ pray &hen + eel inspired to/ &hen it is meaningul to me/2 they say( This attitude o,erlooks t&o important things: the purpose o prayer/ and the need or pra"ti"e( 5ne purpose o prayer is to in"rease your a&areness o G-d in your lie and the role that G-d plays in your lie( + you only pray &hen you eel inspired 6that is/ &hen you are already a&are o G-d7/ then you &ill not in"rease your a&areness o G-d( +n addition/ i you &ant to do something &ell/ you ha,e to pra"ti"e it "ontinually/ e,en &hen you don.t eel like doing it( This is as true o prayer as it is o playing a sport/ playing a musi"al instrument/ or &riting( The sense o humility and a&e o G-d that is essential to proper prayer does not "ome easily to modern man/ and &ill not simply "ome to you &hen you eel the need to pray( + you &ait until inspiration strikes/ you &ill not ha,e the skills you need to pray e9e"ti,ely( Beore + started praying regularly/ + ound that &hen + &anted to pray/ + didn.t kno& ho&( + didn.t kno& &hat to say/ or ho& to say it/ or ho& to esta*lish the proper rame o mind( + you pray regularly/ you &ill learn ho& to epress yoursel in prayer(
Kavanah: The Mindset or Prayer
When you say the same prayers day ater day/ you might epe"t that the prayers &ould *e"ome routine and &ould *egin to lose meaning( While this may *e true or some people/ this is not the intention o %e&ish prayer( #s + said at the *eginning o this dis"ussion/ the most important part o prayer is the introspe"tion it pro,ides( #""ordingly/ the proper rame o mind is ,ital to prayer(
The mindset or prayer is reerred to as kavanah, which is generally translated as concentration or intent!
The minimum le,el o ka,anah is an a&areness that one is speaking to G-d and an intention to ulfll the o*ligation to pray( + you do not ha,e this minimal le,el o ka,anah/ then you are not praying' you are merely reading( +n addition/ it is preerred that you ha,e a mind ree