I have a new philosophy (of course Beli Neder): never Daven before you have Hizuk. Now, sometimes I like to sing a Niggun (Shifchi by Reb Shlomo) or say some Bakashot (specifically Agadelcha by Iben Ezra). Does anyone have any special Tefilot/Bakashot/Pesukim/Sayings/Thoughts that bring Kawana in the Tefila?
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Mishnah Berurah (98:1) cites Eliyah Rabbah, who in turn cites Kitzur Shaloh, that "a segulah for removing extraneous thoughts is, before praying, to pass one's right hand three times across his forehead, and each time, say the verse לב טהור ברא לי אלקים ורוח נכון חדש בקרבי (Ps. 51:12)."
However, kavanah involves more than just removing distracting thoughts; as Rema there states, one should contemplate, before praying, the greatness of Hashem and the lowliness of man. The Chabad approach to this is to study Chassidus before prayer, since these (particularly the first) are major themes developed extensively in that literature. In one of his talks (excerpted here), the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l indeed points out that putting oneself in this frame of mind is a vital necessity in order to be able to approach Hashem and speak to Him.
Personally speaking I find several things helpful in inspiring oneself before tefilla:
The book: A call to the Infinite is full of many quotes that one might want to read,say before davening to inspire them to daven.
Also, the book Kuzari, is said by R. Kook to be the essence of learning true Emunah in Hashem. (Completely unrelated to the "Kuzari proof") The book likely has many passages that one can read regarding the special connection Jews have to Hashem and prayer. For example there is a shiur here based on the Kuzari that focuses specifically on the structured nature of prayer
Something, I think about myself sometimes, is how many things we pray for have come to fruition, and many things which we pray for have come and gone and come again.
Channa's prayer, used as the Haftorah for Rosh Hashana, the source for the way we behave in the Amida can also be of inspiration.