How to get your prayers answered
Question: what can I do to get my prayers answered? It seems I never get what I need/want!
Great question! not easy to answer in a simple blog post, but let’s try! first, we will discuss a few factors that will give tremendous power to your prayer, so you’ll have much better chance for your requests to be answered.
Obviously, there’s no sure-fire way to get your prayers answered, but we will discuss a few elements that help in that regard. This list is also not exhaustive but it’s a great start for anyone taking his Divine Service seriously.
One thing you can be sure of, it will pay its price and bring you much closer to God!
Going to the Mikvah every day
According to many poskim (halachic authorities), the Mikvah is not a Mitzvah, but it achieves what no other Mitzvah can achieve. It can bring Kedusha (holiness), Taharah (purity), Chokhmah (Wisdom), Da’at (Mindfulness) and many other gifts.
Going to the Mikvah purifies one’s thoughts and gives energy to his neshama (soul). This is not to mention the awesome effect of purifying a man who had a seminal emission (Ba’al Keri). Our Rabbis teach that a man who’s a Ba’al Keri has a very difficult time praying and having his requests granted.
Sure, it’s permitted to pray while one is in that state of Tumah (spiritual fragmentation) of Keri. However, one is absolutely, 100% forbidden of praying with Kavanot until he immerses in a Mikvah.
This cannot be stressed enough, as all the mental energy a person puts in the Kavanot goes to the Sitra Achra. If you use any Siddur with Kavanot, be sure to pray with them only after going to the Mikvah if you ever find yourself in that state of Keri.
Moreover, the Mikvah unblocks many channels of shefa (abundance) that were previously blocked, so it’s a good practice to immerse every day or at least whenever one is a Ba’al Keri.
Praying during Halachic Midnight
There are times when prayers are more readily accepted. One such time is after Chatzot, the Halachic Midnight (not regular midnight), when there’s a very high union occurring in the spiritual worlds.
This is especially true when someone does Tikkun Chatzot after the point of Chatzot (Midnight) and mourns for the destruction of the Holy Temple. When one does that, by putting ashes where he places his Tefilin, sits on the floor and mourns, he emulates the Holy One who cries every night for the exile of the Shechina and arouses incredible Rachamim (mercifulness) above and below.
This is what’s called E’t Ratzon (time of divine favor) and is a very precious time to pray indeed.
Some Kabbalists are careful never to lose one single night without doing Tikkun Chatzot. This is also because of its cleansing effects on a person’s soul as Rabbi Chaim Vital attests in his writings.
Studying B’Yiun (In-Depth)
The more Torah you know, the more you are endeared in Shamayim. This obviously doesn’t hold true all the time, like when Ba’alei Teshuvah come back to observance. In this case, they are very much beloved even if they know little.
But put simply: if you’ve been in the Torah path for a few years, the desire (cheshek) and amount of study you put have heavy influence on whether your prayer is accepted or not. The reason is because when one knows Torah, he comes much closer to God and therefore his prayers are much more dear in His eyes.
And this is line with the principle: You can only love and be close to what you know!
The Gaon HaMekubal HaRav Yaakov Attia thought there are 6 factors that contribute to making Torah study higher in Hashem’s eyes:
- Time: Simply the amount of time you put, the more the better
- Consistency: The more breaks you put in between sessions, the less powerful the study is
- Focus: Do you lift your head up from the book to check the time, speak to someone else or think about your plans for the day? Then it’s time to have real focus!
- Cheshek: Are you overflowing with joy, fear and desire for being able to study Torah? Sometimes we don’t understand what a privilege it is to study!
- Understanding: Torah study is better if you are able to understand and internalize than otherwise.
- Memory: After a study session, can you explain what you learned to someone? And after one week? And a month?
So, instead of studying small things here and there, make an effort to have seder (order) of studying in-depth subjects and delving deeper. Doing this will make the Tal Orot (The 39 Lights of Dew from Keter) to flow down much more strongly.
Being humiliated and not replying
Ok, one can’t choose to be humiliated, it just happens out of the blue.
One of the hardest challenges for people is to lose their honor and not saying a beep. This is especially true when one is humiliated in public. Rebbe Nachaman of Breslov teaches that this is the essence of true Teshuvah, which cleanses one of the impurity of the left chamber of the heart. It’s definitely hard work.
Yet, I’ve heard from many Rabbis about simple people who were humiliated and, after not saying anything, received almost immediately a handsome reward. Moreover they were able to effect miracles like the big tzaddikim like making a barren couple have children!
When one is humiliated and doesn’t respond, it’s as if he becomes the 4th Wheel of the Merkavah (Divine Chariot), like King David, and what he decrees happens! Not to mention this brings one much close to Hashem. It’s like he’s entirely in the spiritual words.
So, next time you are humiliated, especially in public, thank Hashem for this tremendous opportunity and say your prayer!
Doing Pidyon Kapparot (Redemption of Forgiveness)
After all is said and done, it could be one has blockages in his spiritual channels above. It could be because of a sin he did in this lifetime or the previous one. It could be a decree from Hashem or it could be one’s request is simply not for the present moment or is damaging to him.
Whatever the case, a Pidyon Kapparot can help a lot in unblocking whatever it is that is preventing one from getting God to answer his request.
I am able to perform Pidyon Kapparot to anyone in such a situation with the Kavanot of the Rashash.
The effects of the Pidyon are incredible and sometimes come in another area of a person’s life. Nevertheless our tradition attests to the life-transforming effects of this very special prayer.
Shmirat Eynayim and Shmirat HaBrit
The eyes and the Brit Milah are very high sources of shefa (abundance). One who blemishes them have a very difficult time praying, not to mention his prayers are often ripped apart when they rise. Every man is commanded by Halacha to keep his eyes and Brit Milah pure as much as possible.
If you are a man, make an effort to avoid gazing at women and obviously adhering to the laws of Shmirat HaBrit. If you are a woman, make sure to dress modestly according to Halacha so you don’t cause men to sin.
Many Gedolei Israel and Mekubalim including Maran Ovadia Yossef, the Baba Sali, HaRav Kaduri and others attribute their spiritual and material success to keeping their eyes away from any prohibited sights.
The effort expended might be great, but it’s well worth it!
I wish you all much success in getting all the salvation you need from the Holy One Blessed Be He.
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