The true motivation for prayer is not, as it has been said, the sense of being at home in the universe, but rather the sense of not being at home in the universe.
Is there a sensitive heart that could stand indifferent and feel at home in the sight of so much evil and suffering, in the face of countless failures to live up to the will of G-d? On the contrary, the experience of not being at home in the world is a motivation for prayer.
The experience gains intensity in the amazing awareness that G-d himself is not at home in the universe. He is not at home in a universe where His will is defied and where His kingship is denied. G-d is in exile; the world is corrupt. The universe itself is not at home.
To pray means to bring G-d back into the world, to establish His kingship for a second at least. To pray means to expand His presence.
– Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom, p. 258.