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OCD and joy in prayer


Hi Rabbi,

When praying, I always have joy as my intent and I try to focus on that while in the act of praying, but I have OCD and begin to become very focused on making sure I said things correctly, and at times get anxious and somewhat frustrated with myself that I may, or do indeed start to struggle to say it right. When I am done, I notice I was so focused on getting it “right”, I sometimes start questioning myself if I “remembered” to have joy while praying or if I became too focused on saying everything absolutely correctly. If this is always my natural intent, is the joy already part of my kavana or do I need to be specifically focused and not distracted from that feeling during prayer when my OCD causes me to struggle?




While davening we concentrate on what we are saying, and the fact that we have the special opportunity to talk directly with creator of the universe… we have a direct line! Similar to having a meeting with president of the United States, we would be very happy to have a meeting with him, but during the actual meeting we are concentrating on what we have to discuss. As far what you are writing regarding not being sure to “say it right”, I don’t understand why you are having difficulty with this. If you have davened hundreds of times already, (everyday 3 times) you should know how to say the words correctly, and this should not be an issue. What needs concentration is to think of the meaning of the words that you are saying. If you will concentrate on the meaning of the words, you won’t be concentrating on thinking if you technically said the words correctly.

As far as concentrating on having joy while praying. You do not have to concentrate on having joy while you daven, that will come naturally from realizing that I am right now talking to the Almighty God keeps me alive every second and gives me everything that I need.

Hashem should answer all your prayers


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