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Prayer Skills: Ramchal: Praying With Awe

A person must be mindful, when engaged in prayer or in the performance of a mitzvah, that it is before the King of Kings that he prays or performs the deed. As the Tanna has exhorted us, “And when you pray, know before Whom you pray (Berachot 28b).”


There are three things which a person must look into and consider well in order to acquire such fear. The first is that he is actually standing in the presence of the Creator, Blessed is His Name, and communicating with Him, even though He cannot be seen.

This is the most difficult of the three for a person to create a true picture of in his heart, for he is entirely unaided by his senses towards this objective. However, one who is possessed of sound intelligence will, with a little thought and attention, be able to implant in his heart the truth of his actually communicating with the Blessed One, of His imploring and in treating Him and being heard and listened to by the Blessed One in the same way that a man, speaking to his friend, is heard and listened to by him.

After having implanted this in his mind, he must give thought to the majesty of the Blessed One, Is being elevated and raised above all blessing and praise, above all forms of perfection that his mind can envisage and comprehend.

He must also think upon the loneliness of man and upon his inferior quality, which is attributable to his earthiness and grossness and, especially, to all of the sins that he has ever committed. When he considers all of this, it will be impossible for his heart not to fear and tremble when he puts forth his words before the Blessed One and mentions Is Name and attempts to find favor in his eyes. (Ramchal: The Path of the Just, Chapter 19)

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