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How do I eliminate strange thoughts during prayer?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus


Library » Daily Life » Prayer | Subscribe | What is RSS?


First, look inside the prayer book while praying. Our Sages tell us that seeing the words on the page, as well as saying them out loud, awaken concentration.

Second, you rule your mind, it doesn't rule you. But instead fighting the thought, just shift your mind to something else, i.e. the meaning of your prayer.

You cannot control (entirely) which thoughts will enter your mind. But you can decide which thoughts you actually entertain and dwell upon.

Another thing you can do is limit your exposure to things that would trigger strange thoughts. And finally, say a little prayer for yourself, asking G-d to have mercy on you. But the main thing is, don't let it get you down. Don't think: "If I'm having these thoughts during prayer, my prayer must be worthless." That's a mistake. Actually, because your prayer was going well, and you were doing some fine spiritual work, the "other side" kicked in and tries to challenge you.


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How do I eliminate strange thoughts during prayer?

Posted by: Leon on Feb 13, 2005

I can do this by actively participating in a minian and by saying amein loudly


Mitzvot » Prayer » I'd love to pray, but...

It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.