The latter part of the book of Daniel (7-12), though full of apocalyptic visions, contains a prayer of Daniel’s (9) at the heart of it. He understood from scripture that the time for God’s people in exile to be restored to the land was imminent, so he set himself to fasting and prayer.
When one prays, really prays and continues to pray, there’s inevitably an element of spiritual warfare going on. At the end of the great passage on spiritual warfare, God’s people are called to pray (Ephesians 6:10-20).
I really like it when I feel inspired to pray, when the Spirit seems to be very much present, and it seems easy to pray. When that happens, I try to take advantage and really keep after it, praying for this and that, and something else.
But by and large for me, prayer seems to be an uphill battle. Part of it is surely myself in some way, in my lack of faith along with the human element involved in the heaviness which the baggage of life inevitably brings. But a major part of it is surely in the resistance that the spiritual forces arrayed against God, bring. There’s a saying somewhere that the only thing the devil fears is a weak praying saint on their knees. I believe the spiritual enemy will do anything to keep us from praying, including pleasant distractions.
If we want to feel good and enjoy life, then we should avoid this kind of praying, in fact prayer of any kind. But if we want the joy of the Holy Spirit, along with much resistance and pain, and perhaps some persecution for good measure added, then we will try to pray, and remain in prayer, and seek to grow in our prayer life.
In closing I quote one of the passages on prayer, marking the importance of our regular practice of it:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.