Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #22

[adapted by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

The central part of Psukei Dezimra is Ashrei. During the times of the Gemara, what to say in Psukei Dezimra wasn’t yet decided. In general, people could say what they want. But the Gemara in Berachot says that “everyone who says Tehillah Le-David three times a day is promised to have a portion in the World to Come.” We say it twice at Shachrit and once at the beginning of Minchah. This has been going on a long time.
Why is as Ashrei so special that saying it three times daily gets you the World to Come? The Gemara in Berachot notes that Ashrei has two things that are particularly special. First, it goes in Alef-Bet order from Alef to Tav. This signifies completion. We say at the beginning and end Tehillah Le-David - a praise of David. Since we praise Hashem in Alef to Tav order, we are praising Him for absolutely everything. In addition, in Ashrei we have special Kavana when we say “You, Hashem, open your Hand and satisfy the needs of all who live.” When we say this, we are recognizing that Hashem has made a world where all needs can be fulfilled. It is true that sometimes they are not. Millions are hungry. But this is because, while Hashem has done his part of providing what everyone needed, people haven’t done their part of making sure everyone gets fed. When we say that Hashem has provided for the needs of all, we recognize Hashgachah Pratit - that Hashem is involved in the lives of all those who live. This is an important part of Judaism.