“But of all who pray, how many pray poorly?
How many, then, straightway dismiss this gift of God? How many grow restless over a period of time and despair of prayer – not because the thing itself is ineffectual, but rather because their practice of the thing is cheap and incomplete? Many. Oh, too many of the people turn their groaning inward (where it swells helplessly like an angry gas) rather than Godward (where the Deity himself breathes it in and transforms it).”
– from Whole Prayer by Walter Wangerin
Yes, that is it. In prayer the Spirit of God Himself groans along with us, and, by his creative nature, turns our helpless groaning into something more. We cannot pollute him by our prayer. He takes our sorrows and shattered dreams, our despair and doubt, our frustration and failings, and takes them into his heart. It is from that place we find the room to breathe again. It is from there he begins his Genesis work of breathing life into dust. It is how we all began. And it is how we can all begin again.
Yes, there is great hope in prayer.