Prayer & Recharge
Any relationship with another person must be based on reciprocity. It is impossible to have one side always give while the other always is on the receiving end. When that happens, it is exploitation and not a mutual relationship. For example, when we want to build a healthy relationship with our mate, it must be based on joint actions. Both sides give and receive something in return.
The same is true of our relationship with the Master of the World. It must be built up in the same way.
In the past, Noah brought sacrifices to God as soon as he left the ark. Why did he do this? It was an expression of thanksgiving that he and his family were rescued from the Deluge. "I was saved from the Deluge. My family was not destroyed," Noah thought. "I will therefore thank the Creator by offering Him sacrifices."
Today, since the Temple of Israel was destroyed 2,000 years ago, sacrifices are no longer brought to God. Instead, we have something similar that replaces them – the prayers that people recite. This is how people can turn to the Creator of the World
This can be viewed in a "small-minded" approach. I am missing something, so I will pray to the One who can fulfill the need. Will my prayers be answered? Will I receive what I am asking for? It all depends – if I listen to the "boss," perhaps he will listen to me.
However, this is the way we look at prayer. In that case, we should immediately consider a verse by King Solomon: "If one turns his ear away from listening to the Torah, then his prayer is also an abomination" [Proverbs 38:9]. The simple explanation of this is according to the traditions of the nation of Israel (as taught by Rav Saadia Gaon): "If a slave doesn't listen to his enslaver, the master will also not listen to the slave." This shows a desire to exploit a mutual relationship. Compare it to an ATM – If you put in the right magnetic card (prayer), you get money (whatever you asked for in your prayer)...
Things don't work that way. But this can be viewed in a positive light. It is worthwhile to pay attention to the demands of the Creator so that He will answer your requests. Looking at the world in such a limited way can lead to an outlook of sadness, even though this approach is honest and genuine. These concepts leave us with "obligations" to the Master of the World.
On the other hand, there is a much deeper way to look at prayer. We can approach it with the joy of creation, as something which will fulfill our desire as human beings to rise to ever greater heights, fill up with positive energy, and feel a lightening of the spirit and great satisfaction.
How can we do this?
What is the secret?