What Is a Prayer?
However, the prayer must be a whole prayer, that is, from the bottom of the heart. It means that one knows one hundred percent that there is no one in the world who can help him but the Creator Himself.
Yet, how does one know that, that there is no one to help him but the Creator Himself? One can acquire that awareness precisely if he has exerted all the powers at his disposal and it did not help him. Thus, one must do every possible thing in the world to attain “for the Creator.” Then one can pray from the bottom of one’s heart, and then the Creator hears his prayer.
– Baal HaSulam, Shamati, Article #5 “Lishma Is an Awakening from Above, and Why Do We Need an Awakening from Below”