General Principles of Prayer 4
From my father zt”l: Prayer as Service of God: Subservience: Where in the Torah did Maimonides find that Prayer is mandated? “You shall worship with all your heart”, on which the Talmud elaborates and asks, “Which form of worship is with the heart? This is prayer, this is avodah sh’balev, worship of the heart.” Therefore, we see that prayer is considered serving God. If I approach God and say, “ I require healing, please send me a cure for my illness” or, “I require a job, please send me a source of income,” or, “I need wisdom. Please open my heart so that I may acquire wisdom.” I am serving God! I am worshipping God with those requests!
The most accurate definition of service of God is subordination, recognizing that I need You, that You are my superior because I derive from You, and You are the source of that which I need. That is service. Avodah, Service of God, is not the work that I do for Him, but the subordination of my desires, of my wishes and needs, to His commands and direction. In prayer I recognize that I am a dependent on Him. That is subordination. That is Service of the Heart.