by Rabbi Laura Novak Winer

How do we develop kavannah, focus and intentionality in our prayers?  Practice, practice, practice… shooting hoops!  That was our t’filah (prayer) experience this morning.

Consider what it takes to successfully make a basket. It takes focus, aim, and perseverance.  So too with prayer.  This morning we practiced honing our kavannah skills by throwing hoops while offering our prayers. Three shots, three prayers, each one getting more focused than the other.hoops2

One CIT’s prayer included:

From the 3-point line: Dear God, please help everyone I care for stay healthy.

From the free-throw line: Dear God, please keep my family healthy.

From dunking range: Dear God, please keep my mom’s scan’s clear.

The pairing of our physicality with our spirituality helped us explore what is hard and easy about prayer.  It helped us learn that sometimes focus just evades us, and that’s okay.  It helped us learn that prayer doesn’t necessarily get easier with time, and prayer practice may never make perfect. It helped us learn that making the basket isn’t what really counts, but rather the effort and persistence is what is important.