You shall serve Him [through prayer]. (Devarim 6:13)
Prayer is the service of the heart. We are required to praise Hashem, ask
Him to fill our needs, and thank Him for His help daily.
Prayer is so basic and fundamental that it stems from the very beginning
of our history. Avraham Avinu, our first patriarch, instituted shacharis
(the morning prayer). Yitzchak, his son, instituted minchah (the afternoon
prayer), and Yaakov, the last patriarch, instituted maariv (the evening
prayer) [Rambam, Hilchos Melachim 9:1].
Prayer allows a person to communicate with his Creator, the source of his
life and sustenance. When we recite Shemoneh Esrei, the daily prayer which
was instituted by the Sages of the Great Assembly over two thousand years
ago, we connect to our Creator in an incredible way. In order to
appreciate this opportunity to the fullest, we must realize that we are
standing before Hashem and praying to Him.
The Rambam includes the obligation to recite one hundred berachos daily in
Hilchos Tefillah (7:14). These berachos encompass all those that we recite
during the regular prayers, in addition to the berachos that we say
throughout the day over food and other matters. Thus, we are always
reminded to think of Hashem and His benefits to us.
**The seven mitzvos listed until here apply to both men and women.