Chanukah Hallel: Paragraph Five:
“I love that God hears the voice of my prayers, that I am listened to when I call! Ropes of death strangled me and alleys of the grave found me; I discovered trouble and sadness. So, I called out in the Name of God: Please God, rescue my soul! God is proper and just. Our Lord shows compassion. God defends the simple. I was lowered but then saved. My soul, return to your place of comfort, for God weaned you with kindness. For You saved my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my legs from tripping. I walk before God in the lands of the living. I kept faith even when I thought that I was destitute, even when I rushed to say that all people are liars.”
It is not the salvation itself that David loves, but the fact that it is at hand because “God turns His ear to me.” That itself is my reward.
The fact that “I can call out,” and speak to God is cause enough for celebration. “Rabbi taught, your heart should be happy just because you can stand and pray before the One Who Spoke and created the world!”
My intention when I pray is not to be saved, but to relish the opportunity to pray. Even when “Ropes of death strangled me and alleys of the grave found me; I discovered trouble and sadness,” all I wanted was to cry out, “Save my soul,” not my body, but my soul. (Chochmah U’Mussar, Volume I, #130)
It was prayer at this level that empowered the Chashmonaim to succeed.