Question: What is a prayer?
Answer: The Creator created only the desire to receive pleasure. Desires can unfold automatically, triggered by the inner engine that activates in me one desire after another, by actualizing the sequence of the Reshimot (informational genes). A prayer is methodical work on a desire that unfolds in a person.
Every desire or Reshimo consists of 613 (Taryag) desires. These 613 desires, by surfacing up, paint the picture of the world for me: Each instant in new desires, I discover a new frame of reality, a new world.
But I, myself, can wish to work on my constantly unfolding desires, speed up the development of new Reshimot in me, control how they unfold, and not allow my evolution to take a random course. I can look forward to the emerging of new desires so as to work on them, justify the Creator every moment, advance in adhesion with Him, and see the necessity and purposefulness of each state.
Such work with desires is regarded as a prayer. A prayer is work in the heart, and the heart is a collection of all the desires of a person. Hence, the work with our desires is regarded as a prayer. This is why it is written: “May one pray all day long!” which means let a person constantly work with his or her desires, motivating themselves to corrections.
It radically differs from the opinion of the masses who think that by reading prayers from a prayer book, they perform spiritual actions or anything at all. Our entire history demonstrates to us how pointless and worthless this interpretation of “prayer” is. They are mere external actions that are carried out during preparation for the true spiritual work on ourselves during Kabbalah studies. Only then is the work aimed at the correction of one’s self regarded as the “work of the Creator” since it is done by His Light, Ohr Makif.
Authentic work lies in accelerating desires. I want them to unfold in me as quickly as possible so I could work on them, having prepared myself and the environment: the teacher, the Kabbalistic texts, and the group; so I would always be ready and trigger my own development, “bring on the dawn” myself. It is dawn because each desire unfolds in me as the dark void, while I immediately bring it to the Light.
Hence, a prayer is all our work, and there is nothing but work with desires.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/13/2011, The Book of Zohar