http://revach.net/article.php?id=5335

Section: Halacha   Category: Daily Halacha
Personal Tefilos During Shmoneh Esrei - What You Should Know

There is a Mitzva to daven to Hashem for all your needs. The Anshei Knesses HaGedola created a standard Nusach for Shmoneh Esrei, to cover all the essentials. Nevertheless Hashem still wants to hear our personal requests from our heart, especially since Shmoneh Esrei, that is repeated three times a day is often said by rote.

How and when is this done? The Shulchan Aruch (OC 119) mentions three places in Shmoneh Esrei where perosnal tefilos can be added. First, and best, is during each bracha, where one can make a personal request which is related to that bracha. There are a few rules one should know before doing this.

- One must start with the Nusach of Chazal, and only then insert their personal tefila.
- The tefila should be personal and not for the Tzibbur.
- It is preferable to add things right before the Chasima (Boruch Ata) but then to add words after that match the Chasima.
- One should only add requests that are for now and not for the future. For example if a person needs parnasa he can ask, but a wealthy person should not ask Hashem to let his wealth continue.
- It preferable to add a Tefila in Lashon Kodesh, but the most important thing is that it should come from the heart, in any language he can communicate.
- The request should be succinct.
- One should not add a tefila that he says all the time, since it will look like he is adding to the Nusach of the davening. At the very least he should skip any additional tefilos once a week.

Although the best time to ask personal requests are during the relevant Bracha, during the bracha of Shomei'a Tefila one can ask whatever he wants, including request for the future and the tzibbur, but he should still keep it to a minimum. Lastly one may add personal tefilos after Yihiyu L'Ratzon and add as much as his heart desires!