20 Feb Prayer Skills-Terumah-That Dwells Amidst Their Imperfections
Thoughts that disturb your prayers can be an atonement for your sins. When you are not suspicious of God and believe that He certainly wants to draw you close and accept your prayers, that the only thing that brings about confusing thoughts during your prayers are your own sins, when you are pained by these thoughts and flee from them with all your strength, this is an atonement for your sins.
If you were able to do this truly and fully, all your sins would be forgiven, and all troubling thoughts removed. This is alluded to in the Talmudic teaching, “One who sins and is ashamed of it, is forgiven for everything.” (Shivchei Moharan, Avodat Hashem 138)
We were granted the gift of the Tabernacle despite our imperfections, even after the sin of the Golden Calf. It is the place of atonement, and by understanding that this holy place for the Divine Presence is ours even in our imperfections, we can learn how to use the thoughts that disturb our prayers, as an atonement; the fact that I can access God in the highest way even when I have these thoughts is an indication that there is no barrier to atonement and reattachment to God.