Home Faith Pay Attention!

Pay Attention!

by Yehudis Golshevsky


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

“While praying, listen to the words very carefully.
When your heart is attentive, your entire being enters your prayer
without your having to force it.”

(The Empty Chair*, p. 88)


What does this mean to me?
There is a difference between just mouthing the words of prayer and really being present. Sometimes people get very complicated and think that they need some kind of mystical intentions for their prayers to really sing. Rebbe Nachman taught that the service of prayer needs to be invested with our attention for it to be complete. He emphasized that our hearts can be aroused to great emotion simply, by really listening to the words that we say and realizing that we are saying them. This, in turn, will help us to be aware of to Whom we are speaking.


A prayer:

Dear G-d, who hears the prayers
of His people with compassion,-
bestow Your mercy and lovingkindness upon us
for Your sake, if not for our own.
Prepare our hearts to pray to You
with all of our attention,
and help us so that our prayers flow freely in our mouths always,
And may no obstacle get in the way of our prayers.

(Likutey Tefillot/The Fiftieth Gate, I:2)

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Today’s teaching was heaven sent. I have been going through a stressful few days and needed to be reminded that I need to put more trust in Hashem and what is truly important.

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*“The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy – Timeless Wisdom from a Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff and The Breslov Research Institute, 1994. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.

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