The War in Israel Part 8: Recapture Your Lost Tefilos with Just Ten Words

יהיו לרצון אמרי פי והגיון לבי לפניך, ה' צורי וגאלי

Let the words of my prayer be desirable to You, and also the thoughts of my heart that I cannot express [should be desirable] in front of You, Master of all, my Rock, Whom I rely on for all my requests, and Who will be my Redeemer.

We stressed in the last segment how important it is to focus on this pasuk. Here is what the Chafetz Chaim writes in the Mishnah B’rurah (siman 122 s”k 8):

כתב בסדר היום "יהיו לרצון אמרי פי" מסוגל לכמה ענינים...לכן צריך לאומרו בנחת, ולכוין, ומועיל הרבה לקבל תפלתו ולא ישוב ריקם.

It is stated in the work Seder HaYom that the pasuk “Yihyu l’ratzon imrei fi…” is of supernatural benefit for many matters. In view of this, one must say it at leisure and with application. It is of considerable avail as regards the acceptance of one’s prayer and that one should not return empty-handed.

The fact that he writes this in the Mishnah B’rurah, which is a halachah sefer and not a musar sefer, should inspire us to take his words to heart and act upon them.

In the last segment, we presented one understanding of the beginning of the pasuk. We ask Hashem to find favor in the words we spoke during Shemoneh Esrei, even though our kavanah was lacking.

Let us now expand, based on what we have learned in the past. The words that we recite in Shemoneh Esrei were formulated by the Anshei K’neses HaG’dolah (the Men of the Great Assembly) through prophecy and ruach ha’kodesh. They contain within them everything we will ever need. Our task is to send them up the best way we can to accomplish what they were designed to achieve. The words we deliver have the potential to effectuate protection, salvation, destruction of our enemies, peace, healing, livelihood, and everything we need – spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and materially. On a level beyond our scope, we are taught that these words build worlds above. We are also taught that whatever is created or caused by our words is for eternity.

Here is an excerpt from the sefer Orchos Yosher by HaRav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l:

דכל תקון העולמות העליונים ובנינם הוא רק ע"י התפלה וע"י כל תבה מהתפלה וסדרם מתקן תקונים נוראים ואין קץ למתן שכרי ("ספרים הקדושים מבואר")

All improvements in the upper worlds and in their structure are only via prayer and via each and every word of the prayer and their order, making awesome improvements, and there is no end to the earned reward (as explained by the holy texts).

Therefore, this pasuk, recited after we finish our formal Shemoneh Esrei, is of great importance. We ask Hashem to find favor in the words of the Anshei K’neses HaG’dolah, which we enunciated, even if our minds were elsewhere: Please, Hashem, let the words achieve what You designed them to accomplish, despite my inadequate kavanah (based on Rinas Chaim, quoting Iyun Tefilah).

We then follow that request by asking Hashem to allow the thoughts of our heart and mind to be before Him.  והגיון לבי לפניך (v’hegyon libi l’fanecha – the thoughts of my heart that I cannot express [should be desirable] in front of You). This can mean something like:

“Hashem, my inner deep desire is to be the best son and servant that I am capable of being. I yearn to accomplish what You sent me here to achieve. With respect to this tefilah in particular, I strongly desire to build upper worlds and increase the blessings and sanctity in them. I also yearn to increase the flow of blessing for Your Nation, your children, am Yisrael, and to accomplish all that You want these words to do. Since that is my true desire, please, Hashem, let those inner thoughts and feelings be before You, and therefore accept with favor the words my mouth recited, even when my mind and heart were elsewhere” (based on the P’ri Tzadik, quoted in the sefer Nafshi Cholas Ahavasecha).

If we come to Hashem and sincerely admit that we struggled with kavanah but that our intentions and true desire is to have His will be implemented, Hashem will surely help us (see the Mishnah B’rurah, quoted above).

On the other hand, if we are spacing out when reciting this pasuk, it is beyond “chutzpah” and foolishness. Hashem has given us such a huge gift and opportunity to be able to recapture those parts of our tefilah that were inadequate. Those tefilos contain the power and potential to “enable” Hashem to bestow His kindness, which He desires to bestow to our brothers and sisters who need our help so desperately. They will have unimaginable spiritual effects, as well, in the upper spheres, and accomplish what Hashem wanted us to do. They will also earn great eternal rewards for us, for all that was created and caused by our tefilos.

All of this is waiting for us if we buckle down at the end of Shemoneh Esrei for just ten words. The choice is ours to make. May we merit to pour our hearts and souls into the words of this pasuk as we recite it at the end of each tefilah, and may those words cause great kindness to pour down for our brothers and sisters and for all of us.