Preparation for Prayer

It is a halachah in Shulchan Aruch that prior to davening one should reflect on the greatness of Hashem, the insignificance of a human being, and remove all desire for pleasure from our hearts. During davening, we should focus on the peirush hamilos, the meaning of the words we are saying. We should be mindful of the fact that we are standing in Hashem’s Holy Presence. No thoughts unrelated to davening should distract us, and any inappropriate thoughts should be banished from our minds. We should reflect on the fact that were we standing in front of a mortal king, we would surely take care to speak in a reverent manner, not mumble incoherently or swallow our words due to excessive speed. How much more so when standing in front of Hashem, the King of kings, to Whom not only our words—but all our thoughts—are known. Learning Chasidus immediately before davening, where we study about the greatness of Hashem, will help us fulfill the directives of the Shulchan Aruch by preparing our minds and hearts to enter the King’s Holy Presence for a One-on-one meeting with Him.

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.