About the time I began to be aware of honesty and simplicity and brevity in audible prayer, I listened carefully when others prayed, and also checked myself after I had prayed. I asked myself these questions:
For what definite thing had I prayed?
Did I believe that I would get it?
Could I picture myself receiving it?
The tragic answer was, that I wasn’t asking anything definite, and I wasn’t receiving anything definite. I was merely praying platitudes, “Lord, bless my family in America, and bless the Chinese pastors working in Shanghai, and bless . . . and bless . . . and bless . . . .” The words bless and blessing do get a workout when people pray! But what exactly are we asking for? Are we asking for anything? Are we talking to anyone? Are we expecting an answer from Him?
Rosalind Rinker, Prayer – Conversing with God, page 69.