Before a person starts Shemoneh Esrei, he should stop thinking about everyday things. His mind should be clear to think about the high position of Hashem and the helpless position of a person. No matter how many good reasons he may have, he should only be thinking about praying to Hashem.

In order to help him concentrate he should not daven in a place that has disturbances. While davening the Shemoneh Esrei, he should have a feeling that he is asking for Hashem's mercy, and he should be not daven just because he has to. A person should feel in his heart that no one can help him except Hashem Himself. All of this is most important in the first bracha.

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