Some of you are spiritually mature. Just run along now, this doesn't apply to you.
OK, now for the rest of us: sometimes I can't pray for bad reasons. It has nothing to do with "dark nights of the soul," or doubting God's existence, or anything else that sounds spiritually interesting. Nope, I just don't want to change my behavior, and I have this sneaking suspicious that God will start bugging me to change if I let myself pray.
Is that familiar to anyone? It was a blow when I realized that. Here I was thinking I had some deep, dark reason for my prayer struggles, when all along I was clinging to my petty resentment and jealousy. I was kicking and yelling on the floor saying "but I want to envy other women for their clothes! But I want to hold on to my bitterness! I don't want to change and You can't make me." Jeepers.
Have you ever read The Great Divorce by CS Lewis? If not, you should.
The spiritual insights are, in my opinion, the best in any book of his.
Check this out: "of some sinful pleasure they will say 'Let me but have
this and I'll take the consequences': little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of sin." Gosh, talk about a wake-up call.
Of course, God isn't controlled by us humans. Shocker, I know. He didn't give up on me, even when I pitched a fit like a two-year-old, because He loves me. He loves us all: don't be afraid to run to Him, even when sin holds you back. His gifts are so much better than the sins we cling to.