Ask yourself why you are doing an action before you do it.
اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُورًا وَفِي لِسَانِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ فِي سَمْعِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ فِي بَصَرِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ مِنْ خَلْفِي نُورًا وَمِنْ أَمَامِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ مِنْ فَوْقِي نُورًا وَمِنْ تَحْتِي نُورًا. اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِنِي نُورًا ”
“O Allah put light in my heart and light in my tongue and put light in my hearing and put light in my sight and put light behind me and light in front of me and put light above me and light beneath me.
O Allah give me light.”
‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to supplicate:
اللّهُمَّ ، إِنًّى أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ زَوَالِ نِعْمَتِكً ، وَتَحَوُّلِ عَافِيَتَكَ ، وَفُجَاءَةِ نِقْمَتِكَ ، وَجَمِيعِ سَخَطِكَ
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min zawali ni’matika, wa tahawwuli ‘afiyatika, wa fuja’ati niqmatika, wa jami’i sakhatika
O Allah! I seek refuge in You against the declining of Your Favours, passing of safety, the suddenness of Your punishment and all that which displeases You.”
ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān b. Yazīd reports:
Al-Rabīʿ b. Khuthaym used to come to ʿAlqamah on the day of Jumuʿah and they would talk. They would call for me and I would come and talk with them. One day, they sent for me and I came. ʿAlqamah said to me, Have you not heard what Al-Rabīʿ b. Khuthaym has come to us with?
I replied, And what is that? He said, [Rabīʿ] said a man from the People of Scripture once said to us, Do you not see how much people supplicate but how seldom their prayers are answered? That is because Allāh does not accept except what is sincere and purely for Him. I said, Well ʿAbdullāh [b. Masʿūd] already said the same.
He asked, What did he say? I replied, Haven’t you heard him say, By Him other than whom there is none worthy of worship, Allāh does not accept [the deed] of one who seeks to be heard of, or seen, and nor someone who is playing around, [He only accepts the supplication] of one who calls upon Him from the bottom of his heart. He replied, Indeed, [I have heard him say that].
[Hunād b. Al-Sarī, Al-Zuhd #874]
Imam al Nawawi (rh) mentions to make this du’a for your teacher:
اللَّهُمَ اسْتُر عَيْبَ مٌعَلِمي عَنِّي، ولا تُذْهِبْ بَرَكَةَ عِلْمِهِ مِنِّي
Allahum’ma’stur ‘ayba mu’alimi ‘an’ni, wa laa tudh-hib barakata ‘ilmihi mini
“O Allah conceal the deficiency of my teacher from me, and do not push away the barakah of his knowledge from me”
One of the best du’as one can make is for Allah to be pleased with them.
If your heart isn’t penetrated when listening to the Qur’an or reciting it, do istighfar and make du’a as it’s an extremely bad sign.