I've been reading Lauren Winner's memoir these days, called "Girl Meets God." She had a good passage I read the other day in there that I wanted to share, because I share her sentiments:
"I have a hard time praying. It feels, usually, like a waste of time. It feels unproductive; my time would be better spent writing a paragraph or reading a book or practicing a conjunction or baking a pie. Sometimes whole weeks elapse where I hardly bother to pray at all, because prayer is boring, because it feels silly (after all, you look like you're just sitting there talking to the air, or to yourself, and maybe you are); but above all because it's unproductive. As Jo once put it, 'If you spend a day in prayer, you cannot, at the end of the day, point to a pile of toothpaste tubes you made and say, that is what I did today.' Still, there are the weeks when I do pra, the weeks when I trust - or, at least, manage to act like I trust - that prayer does something, even if it is something I cannot see. Aquinas wrote 'Prayer is profitable because it makes us the familiars of God.' I like that language. It conjures up God as a witch with a broomstick and a pointy hat, and me as His little black cat, everywhere underfoot. Then Aquinas quoted Psalm 140: 'Let my prayer be directed as incense in Thy sight.'"
I feel like so often, I allow life and its business to get in the way of my relationship with God. Like Lauren writes, I would rather prefer to do something, anything, than to pray. Because I can't see God like I can see a friend. When I am stressed or when I am sad, talking to someone is easier than praying for me. I can't see God, so it's hard for me to talk to Him first. I do pray, but it's usually after I talk to someone about it. I would rather read a book about God than to talk to Him, honestly, because then I feel like I'm learning about God, but how much do I intimately know Him? Do I know His character and how can I experience His goodness in my own heart? That intimacy only comes through prayer, not just through reading about God, but actually delving into His own heart. Am I a familiar of God? I want to be. But how do I get there?
Lord, work in my heart. Melt away this heart of stone and soften it for Your glory. Remove all these things that I feel like I need to do in order to be "productive." Help me to feel and love Your word and You in my heart again. I want to walk intimately with You. Teach me how to pray and talk to You.