Do you remember as a kid, listening to late night adult conversation behind a closed door, ears pressed to catch any audible snippets? Do you remember sitting at the table or in the living room, trying to catch some “juice”? It was probably before you even knew what the word “eavesdropping” meant. But it was exciting, so exciting.

BelievePrayer is a time for eavesdropping it or not, prayer is a time for eavesdropping. Who’s talking? The G‑dly soul—the pure soul that is selfless and G‑dly. Who’s listening? The animal soul—the soul inside us that is instinctive and animalistic in its tendencies. And the goal is to get the animal soul excited, so excited.

Here’s the thing: Even though it is the physical mouth that does the talking, it’s expressing the truest feelings of the G‑dly soul. The soul doesn’t need to create a love for G‑d; it naturally feels it. It doesn’t need to create a desire and thirst for G‑dliness; it already has it. The soul expresses its awe, love, gratitude.

And the animal soul listens in. It takes effort, of course; it doesn’t happen naturally. It takes hard work for the animal, as expressed in the rational brain, to listen to the passionate descriptions of love of G‑d during prayer. It can get a “peek” if it so wants to, but we have to be the one to facilitate it. That entails focusing, concentrating on the words we are praying and really letting ourselves hear the melodies being sung through our lips.

The G‑dly soul intuitively feels the excitement and wants to sing with joy. What about the animal soul? Its baseline is to be selfish, concerned only with its own needs. Let it hear some “juice.” Give it the opportunity to be ignited with the fire of the soul. Let its cynicism melt away as it hears pote’iach et yadecha u’masbia lechol chai ratzon“You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing,” which conveys G‑d’s inherent role in the world, which is to provide for the needs of all of His creations.

Let it be stripped of its negativity or hopelessness as it hears u’bituvo mechadesh kol yom tamid—“in His goodness He renews each day, always.”

Let it listen intently, relate to one prayer or another, be inspired to get closer to G‑d.

Let it get excited, like a little kid.

That is why prayer is called “the song of the soul,” as the animal soul gets to hear the G‑dly soul sing its heart out.

And only you can make sure it’s listening.

Source: Inspired by Likutei Torah Shir Hashirim, Chapter 2 (as explained in Chassidut Mevueret, Avodat HaTefillah).