The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer - Oswald Chambers
I am so guilty of praying sometimes just to make myself feel better. The words at times will go unheard, I know that. I pray not out of love for God, but because in my carnal human mind, I associate praying for something with a good feeling and as a result, pray not because I have faith and think God will come through, but because the sheer idea of praying makes me feel better, and in turn I become consumed more by the request and less by the person who I am requesting something of.
Don't get me wrong, throughout the bible, God commands us to pray. He tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:20), tells us to pray especially for specific needs (James 5:13-16), tells us in all things to pray (Phil 4:6), He even gives us a template to go by when praying (Matt 6:9-13), however, when we lose sight of who we are praying to, our prayers may as well go unsaid.
While God knows our thoughts, knows our past, present, and future, He still wants us to pray, else he wouldn't command us so often to pray, or tell us how we ought to pray. Think of it this way, when you want to get to know someone, say a significant other, or a love interest, talking is a must. You aren't going to learn anything about them in silence, you have to reach out, speak to them, know them. The same applies to God. He doesn't want us to accept Him, get our fire insurance and move on, He wants us to intimately know Him and spend time with Him. He wants us to pray with sincerity though, not just to impress those around us (Matt 15:8-9)
I write this because just before it hit me, I cought myself praying to Him out of obligation and because I wanted to "feel good," and that isn't what prayer is about. Prayer is two part, speak AND listen. In fact, I think the listen part comes first, to be quick to listen, slow to speak. We should listen for His voice and pray we respond in His will. Pray we act according to His word, Pray we live and die by the word, Pray we be bolder, Pray we give up whatever holds us down and causes us to be prideful, Pray for humility, Pray for discernment, I can keep going.
I made a list the other day in my prayer journal of things I need to pray for and get better at. I basically went through verses I had read, reflected on what caused me to highlight certain parts, then made a prayer list according to what the verse said to me. I challenge you to do the same. Get in the word, reflect on verses that stand out to you, make a list (check it twice, gonna find out...sorry...random I know) and pray about it. Pick a few things you know you need to focus on and pray over them so as not to overwhelm yourself. Get a prayer journal. I received one for my birthday and let me say it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Sometimes my own thoughts and prayers minister to me and remind me of where I was and where I am, also keeps me in check.