“Prayer” has always being a scary word for me. It is something I associate with whimsical characters and light-headed emotional people. Whether it’s due to my non-observant past or my very pragmatic personality, this concept is very hard to grasp, very scary and far removed from who I am.
I’ve tried reading about it and listening to classes about it but no matter what I hear and how inspiring it may be, at the end of the day I just don’t relate to it. This will be an amazing area to grow. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s an area we can ALL develop in – whether the length of time you doven, the number of times you doven, whether you should doven with a minyan, or whether you need to doven with more kavana – there’s always room to grow in this vital element of connecting to Hashem.
There is so much to thank Hashem for every single day and every single second but why do we have to say it to Him? He knows it, we know it, and He knows we know it whether we say it or not. Is dovening not then an act of stating the obvious?
I’ve heard ideas that when you say the words out loud you bring them to life so to speak. With the act of prayer you are actually making the thoughts somewhat more ‘real’. That’s a beautiful thought and I don’t discount it for a second, but who are you making them more real for? Is dovening not for your own personal growth – to realise the glory of Hashem and His influence in your life and the world? Surely you can’t be making your thoughts more ‘real’ for Hashem when He already knows your thoughts and how sincere they are.
Little by little, as you learn more about the challenges that you face and keep working at them, the challenges can become victories. Maybe you can doven…ask Hashem to help you with this difficulty.