Some personal prayers became so popular that they were incorporated in the Prayer book. This Take Ten for Talmud session explores a few of such prayers Brachos 17 – Special Teffilos and Sayings
There are also prayers for special needs or occasions. Among these is Tefilas Haderech, the prayer recited when traveling. Click here for the Take Ten for Talmud session on the topic Brachos 30- Tefilas Haderech
In addition to personal prayer and communal prayer, formulated prayer and spontaneous prayer, there are perspectives from great people throughout the ages which help us appreciate focus and strategy in communicating with Hashem.
One perspective which the Talmud shares is that one should prepare for difficult situations by praying for success, instead of waiting to pray once a crisis has occurred. Click here for a Take Ten for Talmud perspective Brachos 8- Davening in Advance
Another important strategy is to recognize Hashem’s help in the past, as a means of reinforcing our faith in Him in the future. This is related to the concept of Bitachon (described in the section of Bitachon/ Trust in G-d). This idea also guides us in the way the prayer-book is designed, where a special effort is made to link our gratefulness for the salvation of the past with our prayers for salvation in the future. Click here for the Take Ten for Talmud session Brachos 9- Linking Redemption to Tefilah
An important perspective in prayer is to realize that prayer is not a magical way to obtain our needs or wants. Prayer is communication between us and the all powerful Creator. Our approach is with reverence, recognizing that G-d can say “No”. Also, we realize that G-d loves us dearly, and it is possible that sometimes He does not bestow something to us because it isn’t good for us. Nevertheless, the Talmud describes a number of people who expressed themselves in prayer in a very strong way, and their requests were granted. Here is a take Ten for Talmud session that explains this topic Brachos 32- Harsh Prayers That Were Accepted
Among the heroes of prayer is Avraham, the first Jew, who often communicated with Hashem in an open way. Additionally, Avraham is noteworthy for the way that he pleaded the case for Sedom, trying to save it even as the angels were walking towards it to destroy it. Click here for a Take Ten for Talmud perspective Brachos 7- The Power of Avraham’s Teffilah
One of the interesting concepts about prayer is that it should be audible. This means that we are looking, not just to sight read, but to actually say the words. Interestingly, different parts of prayer are associated with different levels of expectation for them to be audible. (The Shemoneh Esrei/ Amidah is generally said in silent devotion, being audible only to the person reciting the words, but not to the person nearby).
Click here for a Take Ten for Talmud session on the requirement to pray by articulating the words.
In this category we will discuss the topics of…
To pray to G-d every day
To pray to G-d in times of crisis
Not to bow on a stone even to G-d
To recite thanks to G-d after eating