If your wife asks you if you love her during a particularly lousy day in your relationship on which you really do not feel the love (to say it mildly)… should you answer honestly?
Yes… and that answer should be: of course I love you! My momentary lapse of feeling due to the inevitable vicissitudes of normal relationships does not threaten the essential foundation of our relationship.
So it is perfectly honest to say “I love you”, even at a moment when you don’t feel it. And an amazing thing happens when you do. Your heart starts to melt. By mouthing the words “I love you”, not because you felt like saying it, but because your wife needed to hear it, you have reached outside of yourself, bursting the bubble of self-absorption that is probably the cause of the blockage in the first place. Now you are open to feel again. It won’t be long before the love starts flowing back, more powerful and passionate than ever.
The same applies to our relationship with G-d. Our soul is connected to G-d, because it is a part of Him. But we often don’t feel that connection in our hearts, because we are spiritually blocked, our hearts are frozen to spirituality. The love is there, just like the soul is there, it is just not felt, not apparent.
We don’t have to wait for those feelings to come in order to pray. It is the other way around, by saying the words of the prayers, even without feeling them, the layers of cynicism and doubt start to melt away and our connection to G-d comes to the surface.
So you can pray when you are not sure you believe it, just like you can tell your wife you love her even when you don’t feel it. Because not so deep down, you really do.
Menachem M Bluming, Chabad.org and Rabbi Moss