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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

209. Three Conditions in Prayer

I heard

There are three conditions in prayer:

  1. Believing that He can save him, although he has the worst conditions of all his contemporaries, still, “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short” from saving him? If not, then “the Landlord cannot save His vessels.”

  2. He no longer has any counsel, that he has already done all that he could, but saw no cure to his plight.

  3. If He does not help him, he will be better off dead than alive. Prayer is the lost [1] in the heart. The more he is lost, so is the measure of his prayer. Clearly, one who lacks luxuries is not like one who has been sentenced to death, and only the execution is missing, and he is already tied with iron chains, and he stands and begs for his life. He will certainly not rest or sleep or be distracted for even a moment from praying for his life.

[1] In the manuscript, this word is written with what seems like two initial letters. With one, it means “lost” and with the other it means “work.” It would seem that the “proper” meaning would be to write “work” since it is a part of the phrase “prayer is the work in the heart,” but he apparently deliberately switches the letters to mean “lost,” as this is the word he is relating to through the rest of the article.

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