Acknowledgment of the unique Oneness of G‑d, and the subsequent denial of selfhood for anything but G‑d, is both the condition and the result of prayer.

It is the underlying premise for the elevation, sublimation and ultimate self-actualization of man, and through man of all matter. For man on earth is sustained through the physical entities of the realms of minerals, vegetables and animals. These move along with man who utilizes them.

As man, therefore, fulfills his obligations on earth, he sublimates not only himself, to confer purpose to his own being, but does so likewise to all matter involved in his life and actions.

Every single day is a new chapter, a separate entity, with its own unique requirements.

Tefilah, therefore, needs be a daily function. Every day new matter is used, absorbed and involved in the sustenance of life. This new matter, too, must be developed and sublimated, made to partake in the "to serve Him."

Food newly consumed every day becomes part of the human body, and it, too, must be brought 'under the wings of the Shechinah and made to experience the yearning for G‑dliness.

Thus it is understood why - as a rule - one may not eat prior to prayer. One can hardly raise something to a level beyond one's own rank and reach. Only after an initial working on the self, one can undertake to elevate prospective additions to that self as well. "Correct yourself, and then correct others."

In the natural state before prayer, that is, before the mental submission to the sovereignty of Heaven and the submission of the personal will and desires to the Will of G‑d, man is only potentially on a higher plane than the mineral, vegetable and animal objects.

The distinct quality and superiority of humanness as `crown of the creation', is attained only when man realizes the obligations with which he is charged.

Only after the act of tefilah, after the personal whims and inclinations have been sacrificed, after ascending to the level of "Man in His image, in the image of G‑d," only then is man justified in ruling over the subhuman realms and to use these for himself.