Expressing thanks or requests for help to G-d

It is important to express feelings of gratitude when praying to G-d. We may already be inspired with this feeling when we start to pray. Or, we may need to reflect on our blessings for a short time in order to arouse this well-justified emotion. The book “A Time for Prayer” (pub. Yeshivath Beth Moshe, 1996) gives the following introduction to their section of “Psalms for Gratitude.” (Note: the Hebrew word “Hashem” = “The Name” is used as a vernacular replacement for the ineffable four-letter Name of G-d.)

THOUGHTS BEFORE PRAYING IN GRATITUDE

1) The primary purpose that Hashem created this world is for His creations to acknowledge that He created them and that all they have come from Him.

2) One should praise Hashem when he realizes that Hashem is sustaining his life every second. This is expressed in the verse “He who placed our souls amongst the living.” The verse “All souls shall praise the L-rd” also expresses this. Our sages teach us that for every breath one must praise Hashem.

3) A person may have had difficulties and was saved. Or, he may feel that he has been blessed with special favor or a time of celebration. In those time, he must give added thanks to Hashem. He should realize that he was saved or granted favor only by the grace of Hashem and not because of his own merit.

4) Besides thanking Hashem for His salvation one should increase his service of Hashem with concrete actions of Charity and Prayer.

5) Man’s success comes from the revelation of Hashem. Hardship comes when Hashem hides His face. One merits the revelation of Hashem’s Divine Providence through constant acknowledgement of Hashem.

LISTS OF PSALMS THAT ONE MAY RECITE WITH SPECIFIC INTENTIONS

1) When praying for G-d to heal a sick person (including oneself):
Psalms 6, 13, 20, 22, 23, 30, 32, 38, 41, 51, 86, 88, 91, 102, 103, 142, 143. (The main one of these is Psalm 20,)

2a) PSALMS WHICH EXPRESS REQUESTS FOR G-D’S HELP: 17, 23,  42, 63, 70-71

2b) PSALMS WHICH EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO G-D: 30, 33, 65, 66, 92, 100, 104, 107, 145, 146, 150.

3) Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov and a holy tzaddik.  He specified ten Psalms that he said contain the general remedy for matters of the soul. These ten Psalms were revealed to him from Heaven as being “Tikkun HaKlali” (The Complete Remedy). They are: 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150.

4) There is also a special custom that every day in your prayers, you can include “your” Psalm. It is the one corresponding to the age you will be on your next birthday. A person who is praying in a time of need can include his or her Psalm. Psalms 20 and 150 are also recommended. In any event, you should have in mind, and verbalize from time to time, that you are not taking on any particular prayers or any particular times of prayer as an obligation with the force of a vow.

OTHER RESOURCES

If you choose to print out any Psalms from the On-line Book of Psalms on the Chabad.org web site, please be very careful with the printed pages. The text contains sacred literature, which should not be defaced or improperly disposed of, or taken into a washroom without first being placed in a container within a container; see our FAQ on written Names of G-d.

In respect to all of the above, there are some people who prefer to have a printed collection of prayers and Psalms that are recommended for Noahides. Many Noahides have praised our booklet “Prayers, Blessings, Principles of Faith, and Divine Service for Noahides,” by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet. It is also available in several other languages.

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