I pray every morning (usually by myself, as I can’t always make it to minyan), and I like doing it. Often, I am able to really get into the tefillah, feeling the prayers flow through me, truly communing with my Creator. More and more though, I just can’t connect to my davening. I feel like I am just reciting empty words because they are there, and even though I understand what I am saying, it’s just “the words of my mouth” and not “the declarations of my heart”. In the second chapter of Pirkei Avot, R. Shimon admonishes us to “not make [our] prayer a fixed routine”, that is to say, one’s prayer should not just be a rote recitation of the words, but rather “a plea for mercy and grace before God”. I want to be able to pray with intention and to feel connected to God and the chain of my ancestors who worshiped Him in this way, but I’m not sure how to keep that feeling going when the connection won’t click.