What Is a Prayer?
One who was not rewarded with His love, it is as though all that he did in his work in the purity of the soul in the previous day has been completely burnt the following day. And each day and each moment he must begin anew [despite despair from having wasted time and effort], as though he had never done anything in his life.
And then, “And the children of Israel sighed because of the work,” since they evidently saw that they would never be able to produce anything from their own labor. For this reason, their sigh and prayer was whole, as it should be, and hence, “Their cry rose,” etc., since the Creator hears a prayer, and only awaits a whole prayer. [Hence, our primary task is to gather speed in reaching the state of “And the children of Israel sighed because of the work.”]
– Baal HaSulam, Letter No. 57
The labor and toil in one’s heart during the prayer [clarification of the prayer] is the most reliable and most successful, and reaches its goal more than all other matters in reality [which are secondary, external, and exist solely to bring him to a prayer].
– Baal HaSulam, Letter No. 56