Here's a helpful analogy on prayer that Eric Ludy shared with us on Monday.
God says to you, "There is treasure beneath your feet" and hands you a shovel. What do you do?
The shovel represents prayer, and the treasure represents the stuff of heaven--blessings of God that He desires to send to earth via the conduit of faith.
However, so many people stop after, say, 4 scoopfuls. They haven't hit the treasure yet, but they throw the shovel down. "I've tried prayer," they say. "It doesn't work." But what did Jesus teach us? He taught us that men ought always to pray and not to faint. He gave us the story of the unjust judge and the importunate friend to show us how we ought to approach prayer (see Luke 11:1-13, Luke 18:1-8).
Let us pray--fervent, importunate, faith-filled prayers that first listen to God's heart and then pray according to the burdens He lays on our spirits. Let us connect with God (not merely talk at Him) and believe Him for the answer.