Developing a prayer life that is personal, intimate, and powerful takes time and attention. In fact, anything worth having in this world takes time and attention. Like a farmer approaching new, wild land, the soil of our hearts and minds must be cultivated for prayer to bear fruit.
There is a lot of effort on the farmers part to prepare for growth. The rocks must be removed. The trees felled, and roots burnt up. The soil must be tilled, broken, and irrigated. Fertilizer needs to be spread, pests fought, and then the seeds are sown.