The Battle to Find God
The anonymous mystic who wrote The Cloud of Unknowing, an early English work, tells of his own struggle to experience God. He says:
All I feel is toil and pain, not rest. When I try to follow his advice, suffering and struggle beset me on every side. On the one hand, my faculties hound me to give up this work, and I will not; on the other, I long to lose the experience of myself and experience only God, and I cannot. Battle and pain assail me everywhere.
He then explains why meditation is often such a struggle:
You find this work painful because you are not yet accustomed to it. Were you accustomed to it, and did you realize its value, you would not willingly give it up for all the material joys and rest in the world.
Yes, I know, it is painful and toilsome. Still, I call it rest because your spirit does rest in a freedom from doubt and anxiety about what it must do; and because during the actual time of prayer, it is secure in the knowledge that it will not greatly err.
This English mystic tells us an important aspect of prayer: that during prayer we do not greatly err because our mind is busy with God.
And so persevere in it with humility and great desire, for it is a work that begins here on earth but will go on without end into eternity.