-- Chapter from Rebbes and Chassidim: What They Said - What They Meant -- Heartfelt Prayer Chapter from Rebbes and Chassidim: What They Said - What They Meant -- Heartfelt Prayer
Hello. Sign in to get personalized recommendations.
Your Account
Order Status
Customer Service
View Cart Checkout
Home Books Audio Software Judaica
ArtScroll Classics   |    Browse Categories   |    Best Sellers   |    The App  |   New Releases   |   Future Releases   |   Recommendations
ArtScroll Gift Finder
Privacy Policy
To unsubscribe, click here
Shop By Item Number  
Request A Catalog  
Siddur / Prayer Books  
Chumash / Torah  
Tanach / Bible  
Daily Dose of Torah  
Kosher By Design Series  
Passover Haggadahs  
Interlinear Series  
Tehillim / Psalms  
Rubin Prophets  
Torah Reader's Tikkun  
Foreign Language Editions  
Rashi & Ramban  
Children's Titles  
All Categories  
Gift Certificates  
Browse By Category  
Best Sellers  
New Releases  
Back In Print  
Browse by Author  
Browse by Title  
Schottenstein Talmud Bavli  
Schottenstein Talmud Yerushalmi  
Kleinman Ed. A Daily Dose of Torah  
Edmond J. Safra French Talmud  
Schottenstein Ed. Book of Mitzvos  
Click for ArtScroll Gift Certificates
Sample Chapters  
Parashah Talk  
Click to find a Hebrew Bookstore near you

  Chapter 8 from
Rebbes and Chassidim: What They Said - What They Meant

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski 

Other Available Chapters
1  6  10 

Heartfelt Prayer

“Service of the heart refers to prayer” (Taanis 2a).

A young man complained to R’ Mendel of Kotzk that he was unable to concentrate on prayer because he suffered from severe headaches. R’ Mendel said, “What does the head have to do with prayer? Prayer is with the heart, not with the head.”

Chassidic writings, especially Tanya, emphasize that the intellect can dominate over emotions. Emotions are a source of energy, and can be directed toward desirable or undesirable goals. One can direct his anger toward other people, which is bad. Or one can direct his anger toward injustice, which is good. All emotions can be directed either positively or negatively.

Many emotions are self-centered in a way that is detrimental to spirituality. The intellect must be put to work to turn the emotions away from physical desires toward spiritual concerns. Prayer, however, needs very little direction. As children we ask our parents to provide for our needs. Although praying to G-d for one’s needs may be thought of as self-centered, this is the one time when self-centeredness is not blameworthy. To the contrary, it indicates that one realizes he is dependent on G-d for everything. Praying for what one wants testifies that one believes in G-d.

Since the natural emotion of praying for something is commendable, it does not need to be redirected by the intellect. One can pray from the heart.

But is it not necessary to use one’s intellect so that one does not pray for the wrong thing? Do not worry too much about that. A child may ask for ice cream before dinner and even cry for it. A wise parent will not give the child something that is not good for him. G-d will not give you anything that is detrimental to you, regardless of how much you plead for it. We attest to this in our prayer for the new month: “Fulfill the prayers of our hearts when they are for the good.”

So pray. Pray from the heart.

© Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.