This dissertation creates a Jewish theology of asceticism focused on articulating the ideals toward which Jewish observant life is directed, a method for reflecting on the ‘ends’ of a Jewish life well lived in relationship to practice. I apply this theological asceticism to an analysis of Jewish liturgical prayer (tefilat keva), arguing that it is a desire-forming practice that causes practitioners to reimagine human flourishing and what leads to true satisfaction. My approach to this topic is modeled on a careful analysis and evaluation of the Anglican theologian Sarah Coakley’s “new asceticism” in light of Charles Taylor’s “maximal demand.” I augment Coakley’s definition of asceticism to fit a Jewish theological anthropology articulated by Rabbi Israel Salanter. I then apply this ascetic discourse to the study of the daily practice of liturgy. The Jewish liturgical asceticism I develop draws together elements from the Catholic James Fagerberg’s liturgical theology, the Presbyterian theologian James K. A. Smith’s theories about how liturgy forms a social-imaginary, and R. Israel Salanter’s teachings on the formation of desire (ta’avah) through the practice of hitpa’alut. The dissertation ends with an application of this method for theologically reflecting on the desire forming power of a daily prayer life through a close reading of elements of the weekday morning service, shacharit. This dissertation offers a Jewish theological account of the formative power of liturgical prayer on human desire. It also creates an approach for thinking more broadly about desire formation as a key component in the ideal goals of a normative Jewish lifestyle. This theological project will benefit communities of practice looking to better understand the wisdom of their inherited spiritual practices, educators and communal rabbis looking to commend traditional Jewish ways of life, Jewish theologians looking for an approach to discussing the ideals within Jewish life in a way that stays rooted in practice, and scholars of Jewish liturgy who are looking for methods for studying liturgy as a formative act and not merely an historical text.