One major factor for distraction during prayer is the vast number of extraneous thoughts lingering in our minds. For this reason we are obligated to try and clear our heads prior to tefillah. Once our minds are free from these disturbances, we will find it much easier to pray to Hashem.
The Sefer Chassidim advises us how to minimize invasive thoughts. “A person should not speak to someone else before he prays” (158). “How praiseworthy is a person who can be careful not to speak about mundane matters from the time he wakes up until after he has completed Shacharis” (Kaf Hachaim 89,12)
Conversations on the way to shul should be kept to a minimum, since they can easily distract our thoughts. The great Kabbalistic master the Rashash would not say anything until he finished the morning prayers (Kesher Gadol 24,2).
Text Copyright © 2014 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org