Prayer and Desire

“Prayer changes the world because it changes us. The Hebrew word for “to pray” is lehitpallel, which means “to judge yourself.” That is what we do when we pray. We pray not simply for God to fulfil our desires but in order to know what to desire. All animals act to satisfy their desires. Only human beings are capable of standing back and passing judgment on their desires. To be humanly mature is to know what to desire.”

Letters to the Next Generation 2: Reflections on Jewish Life