This was actually written in February 2010 (before Rav School) and featured at another online location aka Facebook, so I thought I would also posted here.
Jewish tradition states that Jews pray three times a day and recite 100 Berachot (blessings) a day; that’s a lot of praying. Actually it’s not that hard if you do all of the prescribed prayers plus do all of the blessings for just everyday occurrences such as food, washing hands, hearing good news, hearing bad news…etc etc.
For me, this presents a challenge; can you imagine going from a zero prayer practice (except in shul) to praying 100 times a day? Impossible. So I’ve decided to start off small and just focus on one prayer at a time. I will probably never be so observant to prayer 100 times a day but I do hope that by adding a prayer practice into my life I will feel more connected to the larger world around me, be thankful for life’s blessings and hopefully feel more connected to G-d.
I’m a morning person and so I’ve decided to start with the the morning blessing of
מודה אני לפניך מלך חי וקים שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה, רבה אמונתך.
Modeh/Modah ani lifanecha melech chai v’kayam shehechezarta bi nishmahti b’chemlah, rabah emunatecha.
I offer thanks to You, living and eternal king, for You have restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.
Modeh/Modah is said immediately upon rising before we get out of bed and should be the first words we utter every morning. When we recite Modeh/Modah Ani we are essentially thanking G-d for giving us another day. We wake up grateful instead of thinking about what may have happened the previous day and our first conscious thoughts are spent expressing, “thank you.” As someone who has had a rough time these last few months it’s nice to wake up and kind of remind myself to be thankful instead of thinking about the stuff that weighs me down. Basically if we wake up with a sentiment of gratitude, we feel grateful, and we can continue with a more positive day; if we don’t then we won’t.