We feel like we arent doing them pretty- our prayers and worship. Especially when things go south and things are hard- we cant focus. Physical wellbeing, confidence in our relation with Allah, mental state (brain fog among others)- it feels like the tides are against us in everyway. We google and ask around for special prayers or acts of worship, try out best to do everything so to keep to stones unturned as far as our part is concerned- but deep down we feel unsatiated because they are not good enough. The words are broken just like us, and since our thoughts are clouded by the seemingly insurmountable problems, we cant even focus on what we are asking of Allah.
But isnt that what happened with Prophet Yunus as well? Inside the very acidic belly of the whale, deep under the ocean in that stormy night- I bet his duas were anything but pretty. Just because he was a prophet doesnt mean he was a superhuman. He had flesh and blood like you and me. He must have been scared to death, worried sick, claustrophic may be, among so many other things. Its humanly not possible for him to make pretty duas with utmost concentration and focus the whole time. Because as we know from the story that he was very sick by the time he came out, the acids from the whale severly affected his health. So as his health kept getting worse, I wonder if there were some times when he even lost conciousness inside there. But he did whatever he could- he didnt worry or fret about how his duas were. Because his dua already acknowledged the fact that Allah is the One who is Perfect, devoid of flaws,not us. His Divine Perfection is more than enough to envelop of lack of perfection. Allah loves us more than our mother- so which mother cares if her child used the best way to address her or call her when h/she is just hanging by a thread of survive? We have been created with a brain whose job is to think, and worry when things look worrisome. Its natual and part of the way Allah created us. So yes your prayers, rituals, concentrations wont be pretty. And shaitaan will take full advantage of this into demotivating you because whats the point, your concentration isnt there. Shaitaan cant make you give up altogether so it will trick you into your own game. It will keep whispering till you are tired and demotivated enough at your own “worthlessness” to the point that you start believing it too. You keep focussing so much on the fact that dua made without focus isnt answered, that you forget that the Allah who will answer you is also the same Being who made you with these limitations in the first place; so He isnt expecting you to act like a superhuman. And then there are the youtube videos of scholars condemning you for lack of concentration which further sits on your head. I wish I had someone to teach me this as I write them, I would have been saved of a lot of self sabotaging self talks.
Allah doesnt need our prayers to help us, let alone them being pretty or not. We pray so we feel like we did something. So please give yourself some elbow room. Allah asks us to be gentle to His creations which by the way begins with you- your state of mind. Your youtube or google teacher or even your so called “sense of sincerity” sometimes actually works against you. Trying to be too good or too perfect isnt healthy either, especially when its unnatural to be so. Allah will answer your dua even when you are incapable of making it, inshaAllah.
Prophet Yunus understood this. You should too.