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Davening if Hashem knows future


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar II 25, 5771
An issue that has been very bothersome for me is the following: Firstly, we know that Chazal tell us that "whatever G-d does, is for the good..." that being the case, how do we reconcile the fact that we daven to Hashem at least 3 times a day, asking him for various things... Whatever he has given us, and whatever situation he has put us in, is already the best it could possibly be! so what is the point of davening ? Additionally, how can we emulate G-d and fullfill "i am together w/ him in his pain", and feel the sorrow of our brothers, if at the same time, we know and (should/ strive to) believe that his current situation, even though it doesnt seem to be true, is really the best situation he can be in? Furthermore, the Nefesh Hachaim says that when we daven to Hashem, we should not ask Him for things b/c we are in pain and distress, rather b/c the shechinah is in pain and distress b/c we are in pain. i dont understand- Hashem was the one who put us in the current situation that we are in! and nevertheless he is distressed about something he did! it is very hard to comprehend how and what kavanah we are suppost to have while davening... we should be distressed not for ourselves, rather for "someone" else, who chose w/ full knowledge, wisdom and clarity to distress himself... ? Thank you in advance...
Shalom Tzvi, R. Yehuda HaLevi deals with your question in the Kuzari and explains that what Hashem deems good for a person is in that person's best interest only at the stage where he is at presently. On the other hand, through talking to Hashem in the proper prayer experience, we are elevated to a higher level and thus deserve/it is in our better interest to be treated differently and accordingly. In other words, it's not that Hashem changes His mind, but we have changed and consequently our better interest and how we are to be judged has changed. Similarly on the national account, we should feel the pain of our brothers and daven to alleviate their problems. That empathy and tfila also raises us to a higher spiritual and G-dly level which also affects the national level of how we are all judged and what is in our (and our friend's) better interest, Again, through the aforementioned proper prayer experience, we are elevated to a higher level and thus we, our friends and our entire nation of Israel have changed to a certain extent, and may very well be dealt with on that new level. In short, prayer should be a building and changing experience which will enable our loving Father in Heaven to give us the bounty which He so much desires. Remember, prayer today is in place of korbanot which comes from the word "karov", to come close to Hashem, which changes everything. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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