"But the trap is that when it is time to pray again, I inadvertently find myself seeking that state of mind instead of doing the activity that brought about the state of mine. I seek the secondary effect (“prayerfulness”) as a primary thing and thus lose both the primary thing and the secondary effect. I end up neither praying nor feeling prayerful! I vaguely try to conjure a certain state of mind and eventually give up, frustrated at how “hard” it is to pray.
But what I have been learning lately is to abandon the pursuit of “prayerfulness” and simply get down to the business of actually praying. This sounds absurdly obvious, I know, but it has been a profound revelation for me. Just sit down (or stand up, or walk around) and pray. Just start praying."