Prayer serves as the heart of Jewish communal life. The majority of American Jews attends services at least once or twice a year, yet most admit that they don’t understand the language (Hebrew) or context of prayer. Does that sound familiar . . . sitting in services and wondering what’s going on? Then Chabad.org’s latest online course is for you.

Presented by Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, author of a number of important works on the siddur (the Jewish prayerbook) and creator of “Discussion on Prayer: A Journey Through the Siddur,” this course focuses on the mechanics and mysticism that comprise Jewish prayer.

“It’s a lost art,” says Kaplan, alluding to the title of the four-part series offered in 30-minute segments.

Billed “The Heart of Prayer,” the course will begin on Jan. 22 and air on four consecutive Mondays (Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 12 and Feb. 19), at 6 p.m. EST.

The rabbi believes that people are looking for emotional experiences, and prayer (tefillah) is one of them. But they need to know a few things first; for example, what is prayer? What is the structure of prayer? Why pray at all? While he and other rabbis are there to help, they don’t—can’t—cause any person to pray. Like most spiritual matters, it must come from within.

“In tefillah, you are the maestro,” he says. “It’s not a passive experience where you sit back and watch the show. You are the director, and prayer is there to achieve what you want. Prayer is the service of the heart.”

A noted Torah scholar and a lecturer at the University of Maryland, Kaplan is director of Chabad-Lubavitch of the state of Maryland; a board member of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement; and chairman of the Jewish Learning Institute’s advisory board. He serves as religious leader of The Shul at the Lubavitch Center in Baltimore, and has been a radio and TV personality for more than 30 years, including hosting the acclaimed weekly radio show “Awake, Alive, and Jewish,” and co-hosting the weekly cable-TV program “Diana, Mike, and the Rabbi.”

In the course, Kaplan tackles issues such as: Does G‑d really need our prayers? Who authored the basic prayer liturgy and when? What is the underlying structure behind the daily prayer service? What meditations can be used to enhance an individual’s prayer experience?

The rabbi states that “every Jew, every human being has a connection to prayer. The question is only how much.”

Sounds intriguing? Sign up to begin praying like never before.