Love is the Foundation
Love is one of the firmest supports of faith, and it provides the foundation for the sacred relationship between the worshipper and his Divine Master. This love does not penetrate the heart until all other loves have been removed. The heart is like a jewel, a spiritual jewel. It never really shines until its possessor has mastered the highest levels in polishing it. After completing the prerequisites, love takes over the heart little by little, and brings with it the light that illuminates the path ahead. The worshipper will continue under the care of the Lord to the point that love consumes every corner of his heart. By then there remains no love for anyone but God and His devoted servants.
If the worshipper struggles onward persistently through his life, he will perfect that sacred jewel before his departure from this world. He will be amongst those who pass on from the material world with the greatest joy, that small number who have earned the highest reward.
The Pain of Separation
The intense pain of separation, lack of feelings of communion in worship, prolonged suffering, and seeking protection from the things that cause ingratitude towards God all precede the closing of the bitter distance between the worshipper and the Divine Truth. The longer this challenging condition lasts, the more enticing the fruits of divine communion will seem. But one should be on guard lest this temporary condition becomes a genuine spiritual illness that kills the heart.
So long as he is determined to benefit from this condition of separation, developing an intense and firmly rooted connection with God in his heart, the worshipper will move swiftly in putting an end to this bitter feeling.
Attitude Towards Others
When one develops the firm belief that God's merciful care extends to all, including his own family and others around him, his relationships get turned on end. He gets new strength in dealing with them and bearing injury from them. This is a gift from the grace of God, who nurtures all beings after creating them. God increases the worshipper's love and kindness for others far beyond what is normally found in human relationships. Further, God blesses those around His servant and brings them closer as the Qur'an mentions.
The dearest of God's people is the one who is beneficent to others and brings them happiness. The Prophet (s) once said, "Those of you who will sit closest to me on the Day of Judgment will be the ones with the finest morals and the ones who treated their families the best, and I am the best of you in showing kindness to my family" (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 71, p. 387).
The Restive Mind
Sometimes a dense flurry of thoughts develops during ritual prayers. This condition reveals the thick chains with which the Devil and the corrupt self bind us, preventing us from focusing on the Divine Master. The worshipper should be cautious because these involuntary thoughts could well destroy the soul. A person in this condition is like someone who is praying in the marketplace. Every moment, sights pull his attention to and fro. The root of the problem is that he willfully follows the mental conceptions that pass before him.
Insofar as the worshipper lacks concern for cutting off these disruptive images, even if in a few of his prayers, his worship will become a forum for all kinds of thoughts and delusions rather than the divine conversation it is supposed to be. There is a hadith about this issue which says, "(When the prayer gets like this,) it is rolled up like a ragged gown and used to beat the face of its owner."