Answer: A person pleads from an aching heart. But this is why we are given a mind, the environment, and the Surrounding Light so that we don’t act solely from our egoistic desire.
What I feel within my desire is regarded as a prayer. If I am simply chanting some words while my heart feels something totally different, it won’t help. You may fool somebody else this way, but it doesn’t work with the Creator.
This is why I have such instruments as the teacher, the group, and Kabbalistic texts. All together, it is regarded as the “environment.” I turn to this environment artificially and wish to receive support and additional strength from it. The environment starts influencing me in response, which is called the “environment’s support.”
But if through the teacher I turn to the group, and through the group to the text, then in the end of this chain I come to the Creator who is revealed within this environment. And as a result, I draw His assistance while the environment becomes a means for me. In that case, I receive not just support, but correction.
Everything depends on how I turn to the environment and how I arrange it relative to me: whether I turn to its most internal part or only the external one. The other key is whether I use it egoistically or not. But in the end, everything is measured by what kind of prayer I produce as a result.
If later this plea returns to the environment yet again, and I wish to reveal the Creator there, it means that my first chain of actions was correct. If, as a result of studying, working, and everything I do, I eventually begin to associate my future with the group, with the correct transformed system of ties between us, and look for the Creator as well as for all my future fulfillment there, then I had been doing the job right!
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/23/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot