There was a certain disciple of the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, who would pray at great length. This disciple was an extremely simple fellow, and it was doubtful as to whether he understood the meanings of his prayers. Notwithstanding his lack of basic comprehension, he used to pray at length everyday—morning, afternoon and night.
It was clear from his manner of prayer that it was not merely lip service. His prayers welled up from the depth of his soul, and expressed the very essence of his heart. The other, more erudite disciples, were very surprised as to his lengthy prayers, and asked him to explain the secret behind his great devotion in his prayers.
The simple disciple explained: “When I was by our Rebbe, I heard from him a Torah thought based on the words, “Shamor v’zachor b’dibur echad,”—that in each word of prayer one should remember and guard “the One.” Meaning, that in all of our words of prayers we should think of G-d.”
“Whenever I pray,” said the disciple, “I remember this teaching and it brings vitality and life to every word of my prayers.”
This simple disciple prayed for forty years, with the strength of one Torah thought that he heard from his Rebbe!