“Often the longings of prayer, are diffused and muted longings,
that one barely feels at all.” 
How can one pray, when there isn’t the remotest desire or longing to do so? For that matter, how can anyone fall back on prayer when they’re painfully aware of its insufficiency? In the face of so much unnecessary suffering, exploitation, and violence, why even suggest this practice (other than not knowing what else to do or say)?
Writes author, James Finley, “There is, it seems, a deal that [our] heart makes with itself, so as NOT to admit that it harbors a longing so deep that it can’t continue…”  What I think he speaks of here, is that ironclad agreement we make with ourselves – often without being consciously aware of it. For when the mowing down of civilians is routinized; human and civil rights systematically usurped; forests, rivers, and its creatures plundered; institutions routinely violated, and fascism lauded by those in public office – is it any wonder we’ve learned to cope by shaking our heads and doing what we can to get through another day?
Yet when you’re worn out, and you can’t pray or even want to for that matter, could recognizing this be a new beginning? Yes, the great sages and mystics throughout the ages gifted us with meaningful and beautifully composed prayers, but their stories are incomplete if we forget their own struggles. Perhaps, as James Finley has observed, “…despite their doubt and [disheartedness], through it all they perceived that God continued to love them anyway.”
Prayer: Divine Maker, who knows me better than I know myself, thank you for continuing to hold me in love, even when I don’t believe in you. Thank you for believing in me, even when I have lost faith in myself. We ask this in all the holy names of God. Amen.
[1, 2 & 3] James Finley, from Christian Meditation