From Richard Foster’s book Prayer:
We today yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. We are attracted to it and repelled by it. We believe prayer is something we should do, even something we want to do, but it seems like a chasm stands between us and actually praying. We experience the agony of prayerlessness. ¶ We are not quite sure what holds us back. Of course we are busy with work and family obligations, but that is only a smoke screen. Our busyness seldom keeps us from eating or sleeping or making love. No, there is something deeper, more profound keeping us in check… It is the notion—almost universal among us modern high achievers—that we have to have everything “just right” in order to pray… Our problem is that we assume prayer is something to master the way we master algebra or auto mechanics. That puts us in the “on-top” position, where we are competent and in control. But when praying, we come “underneath,” where we calmly and deliberately surrender control and become incompetent. “To pray,” writes Emilie Griffin, “means to be willing to be naive.”†
† Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), 7-8.