"What we need is a desire to know the whole will of God, with a fixed resolution to do it." - John Wesley
Foster begins this next chapter on Covenant Prayer with this sobering quote from John Wesley. I fear this is a critical point in the spiritual formation of many believers. We've become good at living in a place of expectation; having the knowledge and desire to do God's will, but seldom do we actually following through. We like the excitement of the expectation of change without the responsibility and sacrifice of doing the work. This is why we often make so many promises to God - more time for devotion and prayer, more Bible reading, ect - but we often fall short. Foster encourages us to not look on these times as failures, but as steps in our growth. God is not only working in us the discipline to follow through, but also the desire to make these commitments to the Lord.
We have to go back to the "Prayer of Examen" and ask the Holy Spirit to show us what things are hindering us from following through with our covenants. We must overcome these barriers that self places in our path and form disciplines and fixed habits that are critical to our spiritual formation.