A prayer, a plea for correction, is the most natural desire, but the problem is that our heart does not want what is needed. Our desires are corrupted, and so we read articles by Kabbalists to learn what request we should form in our hearts.
First, we need to correct our desires. When a sensation of the Creator is revealed in the very first, minor, corrected desire, we will know exactly what we should ask for in order to draw increasingly closer to Him. For this reason, the sages of the Great Assembly (Anshei Knesset HaGedolah), all of which were great Kabbalists, wrote a prayer book for us so that everyone could at least read about what a corrected heart should ask for. When we open a prayer book, we need to remember that we are reading about the very elevated states which we need to achieve.
Along with the prayer book, we need a wise mentor who will teach us how to make our heart desire what the prayer talks about. After all, the point is not just to repeat the written words, but to reach a sensation deep in our hearts. A person’s heart should utter all the words of the prayer.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/1/12, Article, “The Importance of the Prayer of the Many”