What keeps some Christians from turning to God when their burdens grow overwhelming? You would think that He would be their first avenue for relief, but often He isn't. Perhaps He hasn't answered prayers in the past the way they wished. Perhaps it is because they don't feel His presence, and they are afraid to try again. Perhaps the prayer which had once been a close friend now seems so old and distant. Whatever the reason, they feel alone and separated by a wall that has grown in its immensity.
The good news is that God is still there, and the wall can come down. One chink in that forbidding structure, and it can tumble into pieces. One prayer from the heart-one cry from the spirit, and the barrier is gone. We might not know what to pray, but the cry of the spirit does. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). It is in surrender of myself to God, and in the groan of my spirit, when no words can express the pain in my heart, that I find peace that passes earthly understanding (Philippians 4:6-7), and I can breathe again.
If it has been awhile since you have prayed from the heart, He is still there. If it has been awhile since you felt His presence in prayer, He is still there. If it has been awhile since your heart has known one-on-one, spirit-to-spirit release, He is still there. Prayer always returns when you once again open the pain in your heart to the Holy Spirit. It is like an old friend who has never tired of the delay, but has waited patiently for you to discover the joy of release in that friendship once more.