Guest post from Rabbi David Katz
As the End of Days are approaching, the birthpangs of Moshiach become more and more potent. Each opportunity that we are presented with makes it more viable that it could transition to the Geula Shleima [complete Redemption]. The impediment is the gezeirah [decree] that Moshiach ben Yosef has to die. Thus when we get close to the Messianic transition the margin of life and death becomes very faint; and for this reason the Vilna Gaon has promised us in Kol HaTor that Moshiach ben Yosef in fact WILL live as embedded in the words of Yaakov Avinu ''Od Yosef Chai''.
The Gaon has given us the tools to make that dream possible for every God-fearing Jew. One major part of the formula is to have in mind in the Shemonei Esrei [3 times a day] that within the words ''Kisei David'' one should intently focus his mind upon the concept that Moshiach ben Yosef should not die at the hands of the wicked leader of the Erev Rav - Armilus.
The result of such Kavanah would be the prophetic doctrine of Jacob ''Od Yosef Chai'' - Yosef still lives. The Vilna Gaon ends the idea by saying that Moshiach ben Yosef will and must live as the entire Geula depends upon him and it is contingent upon his life and success.....at which time the Geula would transfer into the domain of Moshiach ben David and creation would be on a collision course with the Geula Shelaima [complete redemption].
To put this into practice: When saying the Amidah, at the words "kisei David" [*the throne of David] have the kavanah [thought/intention] that Moshiach ben Yosef will not die at the hands of Armilus [source Arizal and Vilna Gaon]
[Text from Translation of Amidah]