A Prelude to Prayer
“My Master, open my lips, and my mouth will relate Your praise.”
The Sages instituted the recital of this verse from Psalms at the outset of the Shemoneh Esrei to help remind the worshiper that speaking to
Asking for something as simple as opening our lips expresses our utter dependence on
Another idea: As a result of the first sin, Man dwells in a coarse and unrefined physical body, which is the root of all the negative attributes to be found in him (See Derech Hashem, part 1 section 3, by the Ramchal). When a person stands in the presence of his Maker with all of his shortcomings, he will feel shame and embarrassment to the point where even opening his lips to speak becomes difficult.
Fear of Heaven
Another explanation: Most of the day, we are involved in casual conversation with co-workers, friends and acquaintances. These situations are hardly intimidating. But how would we feel when pleading with a judge, or when being interrogated by an officer or prosecutor. Even asking our boss for what we feel to be a well-deserved raise would intimidate the average person. How much more should the idea of facing the Omnipotent Creator arouse great fear and trepidation within us! By meditating on the fact that we are now standing before
This is why we refer to