Yesterday, I spent much of the day saying the Jesus Prayer, running the olive beads of a rosary through my fingers. I'd expected quietness, a plain kind of solace. What I got was a nervous energy and a compulsion overlaid with a subtle fear.
Usually, I would read this a signs of the Bad Spirit at work but this didn't quite do as an explanation. I remembered the scriptural root (Luke 18:10-14); such words begin with our insecurity, the memory of the hurt we have done, looking to the love of God and shivering in our skin.
When serenity is not at hand, we're still called to pray. We just start from our uncertainty and our sense of culpability, face to face with the most fearful thing of all: His love.