To develop a personal relationship with God and know Him through His energies we need to pray from the depths of our being. This is more than mental effort. It demands our use of our deeper noetic faculty. This is said by our Church Fathers to be in the “heart” where the “spirit in the heart” speaks.
Archimandrite Aimilianos says that in prayer,
What matters is that a cry should come forth from the depths which, like a loud roar, like an earthquake, will shake the heavens a finally force God to answer, and to say to us [like He said to Moses] “Why do you cry to me?” (Ex 14.15).
Why do we have to cry? Elder Aimilianos says it is to wake God up, just like the Apostles had to do when they were caught in a storm while on a boat with Jesus. Feeling in danger they cried out to Him, woke Him up and He calmed the storm.(Mt 8).
But surely God knows what we need. So what do we cry out?
Elder Aimilianos says
God does this, first so we will express our longing for Him, and for that longing to be uniquely ours. Second, so that we can become of our need and nakedness [sinfulness], and third so we can learn to seek Him.
If God were simply to surrender to us without our effort we would also easily discard Him. He wants us to seek and experience Him. In this way our prayer will become meaningful and lead us in the way of His commandments.
This is still only the beginning in our journey of prayer.
Reference: Archimandrite Aimilianos, The Church at Prayer, p 18