The reflexive-reflective aspect of the initial segments (Birchot Hashachar, Pesukei Dezimra, Birchot Keri'at Shema and the Shema) is to affect man in a way that readies him to stand before the Supreme King for the Shemoneh Esrei in appropriately reverent manner to submit his requests and petitions. At this point there is an unfolding of the mystery of tefilah that we set out to discover.

Prayer seeks to elicit the Divine Grace and Favor. All of tefilah, every prayer and blessing, is basically and essentially a variation of the request Yehi Ratzon Milfanecha (conventionally translated 'May it be Your Will,' or 'May it please You;' but literally meaning 'May there be (a state of) Willingness before You').

Man prays for a state of grace and willingness, to arouse, manifest and elicit the Divine Grace and Favor.

This is the basic premise of both petitionary prayer as well as of a berachah (a blessing; generally a statement of gratitude).

When saying 'baruch - blessed be' (or any other form of this term) one is not simply using an honorific word or expression of gratitude.

The term berachah has the connotation of increase and addition; the root-word is an idiom that means to draw forth, to engraft, to make grow: when saying baruch (or yitbarach) one elicits, draws forth and downwards from Above, the Divine blessing and increase relating to the subject-matter of the benediction. Thus even a blessing is really another way and form of saying Yehi Ratzon Milfanecha.

In this context it is said that all of prayer is a form of berachot (blessings), namely in the sense of drawing forth a manifestation of G‑dliness in the world at large and in the soul of man.

This, then, is the order of prayer and the analogy to Jacob's ladder.

Man ascends, elevates, purifies and sanctifies himself, and in turn causes the 'descent' of the Divine grace and blessing. Divinity, with its inherent blessings, becomes manifest below.

Tefilah thus confers upon man a special capacity without which he may not have been fit to receive certain benefits. It prepares and readies the recipient for the Supernal grace.

For grace and blessing are bestowed upon man commensurate to his fitness and purity, in all aspects of his thought, speech and deed.

In that sense, tefilah is man's mikveh (ritual bath), after full and complete immersion in which one emerges purged and pure.