What Is a Prayer?
We should understand what our sages said, “One does not find himself in debt” (Shabbat, 119). Accordingly, one cannot correct his actions, for he will never see that his actions are corrupt and require correction. Thus, one must always remain corrupt.
The thing is that it is known that man was created with a nature of wanting only to delight himself. Therefore, in everything he learns, he wishes to learn how he can enjoy. Thus, if a person wishes to enjoy, he will naturally avoid learning things other than what his heart desires, for this is his nature.
For this reason, one who wishes to draw near to the Creator and to learn things that show ways by which to bestow upon the Creator, must pray to the Creator to give him a different heart, as it is written, “Create for me a pure heart, O God.” This means that when he has another heart, when the desire in the heart is a desire to bestow, then in everything he learns, he will naturally see ways that show only how to bestow upon the Creator.
However, he will never see against the heart. It is said about that, “And I will remove the stony heart from within you, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”
– Rabash, Steps of the Ladder, “One Learns Only where One’s Heart Desires”