Over these past few years, I've leard a lot about what prayer is, and also what it is not. So many times I've prayed for specific things, specific issues to be solved and such, and the requests seem to go unanswered. Now, Our Father never wants to see His children suffer, but I'm beginning to truly believe that He has our best interest in mind, and when he says "wait" or "no my child, you don't need that," He's not punishing us, but growing us. Prayer to me has become more of a way to reflect and align my heart with God's. I've discovered that He is always there to hear my rantings or sorrows. But I've also realized I've fallen quite short in thanking and praising Him.
I'm not big on cheesy acronyms, but my pastor used the acronym ACTS to express how our prayer life should look like: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Note, that the first two and last two go hand in hand. The first two express who He is, and who we are not (our need for Him); and the last two express gratefulness over what He has done and faith in what He will do. In praying this way, we maintain a proper focus on who God is in relation to us, and trust in His constant Providence.
What a blessing it is that we can prayer directly to the Father, because of the sacrifice of His Son and interceding of the Holy Spirit!