“Once, while I was in the middle of my prayers, my little daughter tried to talk to me, and when I failed to respond, she was very angry with me.
She said, ‘Why don’t you speak to me?’
Later on, I answered her by saying, ‘I was busy. I was speaking with God.’
She then replied, with great understanding, that she hadn’t noticed that God was answering me.
This second question was very deep.
But she wanted this to be a two-way conversation and not just a speech on my part.
The point is that every prayer boils down in the final analysis to a very basic point: I say the words ‘Blessed art Thou,’ and especially the Thou, if I feel the presence of the Thou before me.
If I have someone with whom to speak, then I can pray.
If I have no one with whom to speak, then what is the point of all these words, and all the things I say?
What I am saying here is so simple that it should not need to be said, except that it still does need to be said, and stressed:
Prayer is an expression of faith.
It is impossible to pray, except out of faith in the encounter with God, in the standing of the I opposite the Thou.
It is not a simple question of Buberian philosophy.
It is a simple point, so simple that any child can understand it.”
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From “Prayer Education” in On Being Free by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz