Hi! I think that prayer is really powerful and it can change our lives and the lives of others. The more we pray, the better we get to know God. This comes over time… prayer also opens us up to God, and changes our hearts.
Don’t worry if you don’t ‘feel it’ often. If we feel like praying, or if we feel anything during prayer, that’s a gift but it’s not necessary to pray. God hears us all the same, and our prayers can still be genuine and sincere just for the intention. One thing I’ve learned this year is that we can’t really rely on feelings, they come and go. I really believe that when we don’t feel like praying, and when we experience dryness, yet still choose to pray and still choose to follow and love God (love is a choice, not just a feeling) - that pleases God even more than the prayers we say when we feel really close to Him!! Because feeling close to God is not something that comes from us, it’s a gift from Him.
If I can make a suggestion, I’d say that it’s really important to trust. The more we trust, the more we will receive.
Prayer definitely can help us overcome sinful habits and weaknesses. The important thing though is that this also takes our cooperation. So…for example, let’s say I pray for patience. Let’s say I pray every day for a week. Well by the end of the week, it’s not like I won’t ever feel impatient again, neither does it mean that I’ll have no opportunities to feel impatient!! However, I might find it easier to resist these feelings of impatience and choose to be patient daily. and eventually, as this becomes a habit, the feelings would fade too. But this requires our cooperation as I said… change is God’s grace + our cooperation with His grace. So let’s say you’re in a situation where you feel impatient, but you’re really trying to control that and to act in a patient way…the important thing is to TRY, and God will give you the grace to go the rest of the way. but it’s not like magic, that’s what I’m saying.
Sometimes prayer can be a really miraculous thing. I can share two stories with you… one time, I was really struggling with a horrible sinful habit. I was struggling with it for years, and no matter how much I prayed, and tried to overcome it, nothing seemed to work! And then one day, I asked Mary to help me… and ever since then, I haven’t even been tempted in this way. So prayer can definitely be really powerful. And every story of an answered prayer is different.
Also, one time my grandmother was really sick… she was in a hospital on the other side of the world, and the doctors said she wouldn’t make it past the night. She was unconscious. I prayed for her really hard that night, and so did other people. I prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet. In the morning, the doctors said that not only would she make it, but that she’s conscious and awake, and can talk, and her blood pressure and temperature are normal!!
Also, I should say that prayer is not only about asking for things though an important part of it is just spending time with God, just talking to Him, thanking Him for things… that’s how we learn more about Him and how our spiritual life becomes more integrated with the rest of our lives. Take a few minutes each day just to thank God for something and tell Him you love Him. If you don’t always FEEL thankful, that’s alright, that’s something that comes with time as your relationship with God grows. But the important thing is to just choose it, regardless of feelings.
Hope that helps a little bit I’m not an expert on prayer lol but this has just been my experience.
God bless you!