In the spring of the divine life, the beautiful blossom-time of piety, Christians may be able to pray with fluency and fervor, unembarrassed by want of words, thoughts, and feelings of a certain kind. But that happy stage soon passes, and is succeeded by one in which prayer often becomes a helpless struggle, an inarticulate groan, a silent, distressed, despondent waiting on God, on the part of men who are tempted to doubt whether God be indeed the hearer of prayer, whether prayer be not altogether idle and useless. The three wants contemplated and provided for in this lesson—the want of ideas, of words, and of faith—are as common as they are grievous.From Daniel March in Night Scenes of the Bible, from the chapter entitled "Jacob's Night of Wrestling":
Sometimes it is the last and greatest act of God's mercy to a prayerless and worldly man to lay so many pains and afflictions and losses upon him, that he feels compelled to cry out in agony of soul, "Lord, help me!" And there is no good thing in the world which a man cannot afford to lose, if the sacrifice and the suffering will only teach him to call upon God in humble and fervent prayer.