First Blessing 8: Blessings:God is Listening
When someone says “Baruch ata Hashem” they are speaking in second person direct; You are listening to me.
Look at what it does for us. When we first begin to daven the Amidah, we are not asking God for things. We are doing something for God, which is to expand His presence in the world. It changes the way we daven.
When I was a teenager, I would never go to my father and ask him for a car. I knew that he didn’t have one to give me. He didn’t have the money to get one for me. OK, I wanted a Lamborghini. But God? I felt perfectly comfortable asking God for a Lamborghini. Of course it’s selfish! But acknowledging that God is the One Who you can ask is a good first step in the relationship.
Bilaam was rewarded for bringing sacrifices to God although he wanted to use those sacrifices to curse the Jews. Why? – Because the very act of bringing the sacrifice, he acknowledged that it is God from whom you ask. This means that you have a connection with God. We don’t really think about that. Baruch ata Hashem first reminds us that we are expanding God’s presence in the world. It reminds us that even when we need something, asking God for it brings God’s presence into the world. It means that there is already a relationship there.