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In the brocha of we ask Hashem to "grant good reward to those who sincerely trust in Your name". Is this really necessary? Do we not have a promise that Hashem rewards for even the smallest mitzva? Do we have any reason to doubt that the tzadikim, chassidim, etc. need our tefilla to earn their reward?

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Sha'ar Habitachon of Chovos Halevovos, chapter 4, writes that the reward of the next world is split into two sections:

אחד מהם הגמול הראוי. והשני שהוא מחסד הבורא יתעלה על החסידים והנביאים לעולם הבא.

One is the deserved reward, and the second is from the kindness of the Creator that he gives to His righteous ones and prophets.

There is a type of reward which is not given because it is strictly deserved, but rather out of Hashem's kindness.

He explains this further:

השני חסד מאלוהים ונדבה וטובה, כמו שכתוב (תהלים סב) ולך אדני חסד כי אתה תשלם לאיש כמעשהו. והעילה בזה, כי אם היה מעשה האדם כחול הים במספר, לא יהיה שקול בטובה אחת מטובות הבורא יתברך עליו בעולם הזה, כל שכן אם יהיה לו חטא.

(My paraphrasing) The second type is a "voluntary" gift, since it is impossible for the deeds of a person to measure up to even one favor that Hashem does for him.

As such, it is reasonable to pray for the receiving of this reward, since it is by no means deserved and not legitimately earned.

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Here we are asking that the reward be in the here and now (as this is the topic of all the prayers in Shemona Esrei). Reward in this world is far from a given, even if it will be ultimately made right later.

(For a source, see here, where he uses that to explain why the language is others praying for the Tzaddikim, as opposed to them praying for themselves - because they want their reward in the world to come).

The siddur שי למורא quotes the Rokeach as saying that the request is for a good reward in this world and the next. He then quotes the סדור יעב"ץ who says that the Good Reward in this world is opportunities to do mitzvos and Torah, and increase them, because "the reward of a Mitzvah is a Mitzvah" and this is certainly a "good reward".

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Don't we say evildoers get their reward in this world? so we're praying that those who sincerely trust God should be treated as evildoers? – msh210 May 15 '14 at 19:20
@msh210, evildoers use up their reward in this world. Very different than asking that good people have good consequences in this world. – Yishai May 15 '14 at 19:23
But you say the reward, if not given in this world, "will be ultimately made up later", i.e. if it is given in this world then that's less later. That's what evildoers get: a using up of reward in this world. – msh210 May 15 '14 at 19:27
@msh210, using up means completely, nothing left. Not the same as saying שכר מצוה בהאי עלמא ליכא, and asking for it to actually be realized in this world as well. But I edited the phrase, I hope that makes it clearer. – Yishai May 15 '14 at 19:31
@msh210 ...פירותיהן בעולם הזה והקרן קיימת – Y ez May 15 '14 at 19:51

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