We are inclined to think that if we do not feel definite satisfaction in prayer, it is not worthwhile praying. In order to realize how wrong we are in thinking this, it is enough to remember that prayer and the love of God are one and the same. The essence of prayer does not just consist in those feelings of joy, which sometimes accompany it. Loving prayer may sometimes exist without such feelings; and this is a more purified and disinterested form of prayer, since, being deprived of spiritual joy, its goal is God alone.
We may feel deprived of blessed consolations and yet preserve a firm will, submitting to all the difficulties which God sends us, and humbly accepting everything, even the sense of spiritual depression which we experience. If we succeed in enduring our periods of dryness of the heart in such a way as this, we shall find that they are a salutary spiritual exercise.
(From the book: ”Diary of a Russian Priest.” We read from the cover: “Father Elchaninov (was) one of the most gifted priests in the Russian emigration (who) died from a tragic illness in 1934 at the age of fifty three…Deeply rooted in the spiritual and ascetic tradition of the Orthodox Church, Father Alexander was at the same time closely in touch with the intellectual movements of his own day…His writings offer an excellent introduction for Western Christians to Orthodox spirituality as a living tradition of practical value to them in their own spiritual life.”)