How to Prepare for Prayer
How to Start?
It is advisable to first read a piece of Tanya or chassidut and meditate on it. Then, with the quoted sections below, one can quote them before proceeding to actual prayer.
The Alter Rebbe
The Alter Rebbe writes in his Siddur1: It is proper to say before prayer, I hereby take upon myself to fulfill the mitzva -
"Love your fellowman as yourself."
This means that the precept of ahavat yisrael is the entry-gate through which man can pass to stand before G‑d to daven. By merit of that love the worshipper's prayer is accepted.
My personal interpretation of this is that we can broaden this. It is good that Noahide have love for Israel, but also for their fellow Noahides. In fact, also for the direct people around you. Make the world a better place by showing people that you care, by a kind word, by a kind gesture or by helping them. Loving in this also means being kind to other people in your mind. Try not to judge or be angry with people.
Who may ascend the mountain of the lord and who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not used My Name in vain and jas not sworn falsely:
מִי יַעֲלֶה בְהַר יְיָ וּמִי יָקוּם בִּמְקוֹם קָדְשׁוֹ
נְקִי כַפַּיִם וּבַר לֵבָב
אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נָשָׂא לַשָּׁוְא נַפְשִׁי
וְלֹא נִשְׁבַּע לְמִרְמָה
(Mi ya'ale behar HaShem, Umi yakum bimekom kadesho, naki chapaim uvar kevav
asher lo naasaa lashawe nafsji, welo nishba lemirma)
The fear of G-d is the beginning of wisdom. All who practice It have good sence. His praise endures forever
רֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה, שֵֽׂכֶל טוֹב לְכָל־עֹשֵׂיהֶם, תְּהִלָּתוֹ עוֹמֶֽדֶת לָעַד
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד
Reshiet chochma yirat HaShem, shechol tov lechol osheehem tehilto omedet la'ad, baruch Shem kavod, malchuta le'olam wa'ed.
May the Seven Noahide Commendments of the Torah be my guide and may G-d Almighty be my help
The Fear of G-d?
Why fear G-d? I don't want to fear G-d at all, indeed, how can you fear G-d, knowing that He is the ultimate good?
Yet it is the beginning of the way to go with G-d. In the beginning, a person will want to walk towards G-d's will because he fears punishment or wants to be rewarded. A person needs to know that there is an all-seeing eye and an all-hearing ear. That will motivate him and help him make the right choices.
However as the relationship with HaShem deepens, one lets go of the above. And one walks in His Ways not because one is afraid of being punished, but because one is afraid that wrong choices will diminish one's relationship with Him.
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the NoahideAcademy.org website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.
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