The battle of prayer is not to be underestimated.

Prayer needs fortitude, a stringent effort on the part of him who prays. The involvement must be total, a rallying of all strength and concentration as when fighting a formidable enemy.

Indifference, carelessness, worries, or thoughts about non-related things, are hardly helpful in a physical struggle, and much less so in the spiritual one of tefilah.

The preparation, the rallying of all powers to wage a successful battle, is possible by approaching prayer with genuine joy: "to pray with an infinitely immense joy, whereby all perturbing thoughts become dispelled. The focus of this joy is 'Let Israel rejoice in its Maker' (Psalms 149:2), an immense delight in the greatness of the Creator."

This joy is attained by an initial sense of sincere humility, which signifies a sense of teshuvah.

Tefilah must be preceded by the self-chastisement of a spirit broken by awareness of improper thoughts and deeds of the past. The sacrifice of a "broken and penitent heart" (Psalms 51:19) prior to prayer, opens the channels of union with G‑d. Simultaneously it fills the heart with a yearning for the Divine, and with a joy - caused by faith and trust in G‑d-which dispels all traces of depression and anxiety. For G‑d in His abundant love for Israel accepts sincere teshuvah always and instantaneously, at the very moment of its inception in the mind of man.

This love between Israel and its Maker finds no greater expression than in tefilah. Thus G‑d longs, as it were, for Israel's prayers. For nothing supersedes tefilah.

To G‑d it shows that he who prays yearns for His nearness. To Israel it is the means of coming 'close, in every kind of closeness,' for the closeness attained by prayer is 'as talking into the ear of a friend.'

Prayer, therefore, is a special gift and privilege for which we express innermost gratitude.