The prayers have varied sources and differing objectives; our emotional state should always be in sync with the particular prayer that we are reciting. This knowledge will help us articulate our prayers with the proper kavanah (focused intent):

"Birchas haTorah": (The blessings on the giving of the Torah), are part of the mandatory morning blessings. When we recite them we should be conscious of the fact that Torah is "k'li chemdaso shel HaShem" (G‑d's precious vessel), in which He takes delight every day. Therefore, we are to imbue their recitation with simchah (joy), conveying more pleasure than when saying any of the other blessings for things that bring us physical pleasure. In this way we express our great good fortune in having merited receiving the Torah from the Creator.

"Baruch She'amar" is ascribed to a note that descended from Heaven imprinted with the words of this prayer. It is described as a shir na'eh ve'nechmad" ("a pleasant and delightful song"). As such, we are told to intone the words with ne'imah (sweetness) and niggun (a tune) to relay the uniqueness of their source.

When Moshiach comes ... all previous songs of prayer will cease to be recited...

Mizmor L'Todah: Directly after Baruch She'amar, this hymn also calls for an especially sweet and joyful expression. It is appropriate to recite it slowly, and with a tune. When Moshiach comes, we are told, all previous songs of prayer will cease to be recited, except this particular one which lauds the daily sacrifice of the Todah/"thanksgiving" offering in the Temple.

Pesukei D'Zimra: These passages should be enunciated word for word. They comprise verses of praise for G‑d and should not be rushed — we are to visualize ourselves in front of the King to whom we offer tribute before asking for our needs (and it would be particularly bad manners to acclaim Him in a hurry as a preface to stating our requests).

Shema Yisrael: [Our central prayer) should be recited like the edict of a king in whose honor the entire nation rises and heeds, and every word should be spoken with kavanah (with concentrated intent), and with awe, fear and trembling. It should be proclaimed with the excitement of a new edict, as the prayer (quoting the Torah) says, "Asher Anochi metzavecha hayom" (Which I command you today — i.e. it should be as precious to us as if it were commanded to us this very day). It should be noted that we are not required to stand when reciting the Shema, since the pasuk states "U'velechtecha va'derech"k'edarko (in your customary manner, even when you are sitting or traveling).

When we recite the words of the prayers, we should do so just like one who counts money...

When we recite the words of the prayers, we should do so just like one who counts money — each "coin" or "bill" handled individually and with appreciation, without skipping a single one. [It is said of some tzaddikim (holy individuals) who prayed quickly that they were like money-changers, whose bills are counted in stacks, since the quality of their prayers are on a completely different plane than those of the common person.]

Our prayer should not be said in a habitual manner, as if they are a burden that must be fulfilled and then swiftly dispensed of, but should resemble the concern of the destitute begging for better opportunity — with rachamim v'tachanunim ([requesting for] mercy and with supplication).

[Edited by KOL staff from // Rabbi Yosef-Yeshaya Braun is a member of the Rabbinical Court of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.]