Judaism has the power to put pleasure, happiness, meaning and purpose into our lives 24 by 7. Prayer is one of the primary mechanisms to accomplish our purpose of connecting to Hashem. However, as we’ve discussed previously, prayer is difficult and we need regular inspiration to maintain and elevate our prayer.
One common source of inspiration is the Baalei Tefillah.The right nusach or niggun can emotionally unite and lift the entire Shul. One problem with this source of inspiration is that yesterday’s popular Chazzanos has become today’s unpopular kvetch and cry. In Minyanim with a deep bullpen of younger Baalei Tefillah this is not such a problem, but in some cross-generational Shuls, a regular diet of Baalei Tefillah based inspiration is hard to come by.
A second source of inspiration has unfortunately arrived and that is the current Matzav in Eretz Yisroel. Shuls across the world are gathering to say extra Tehillim. At a recent gathering in my neighborhood, the Tehillim was said slowly line by line with everyone focusing on each word. The group was so inspired that they twice requested more Tehillim after the end was signaled with the closing “acheinu kol beits yisrael..”. However, this is one source of inspiration that we hope will vanish quickly.
A third source for inspirational prayer is the flame that burns within. It begins with a mental commitment to improve our davening. The flame is raised further by davening slower and by making more effort in concentration. Learning more about the prayers adds a freshness to the familiar words in the prayer books.
Of course not every prayer will be a home run, but finding inspiration from within is the most reliable way to increase our on-base prayer percentage.