I must confess, I do not have this prayer thing down. I am not mighty in prayer. I have been known to fall asleep in prayer and while doing so have prayed for "all the dogs in China." The shortest verse in the Bible is "Jesus wept." My shortest prayer is "God!" (Not in casual swearing, but in calling out for HELP!) Fortunately, God is great and God is good. After ripping the curtain in two in the Holy of Holies from top to bottom the moment when Jesus' agony on the cross was finished, God provided access into His very lap.
His answers to our prayers do not depend in our getting it right, into just the right formula, although Christ did give us the Lord's prayer to help us out. The ones in the Upper Room didn't have it all together when the Holy Spirit came. They happened to run out of their own strength, were scared to death, united in fear, and had nothing more to cling to but God and obedience to tarry. Their emptiness made a place for God to fill. Yet, in our humanness we sigh and say, "Alas, has it come to that?" We would rather read another book on prayer or hear another sermon or attend another seminar than lay before Him empty.
So, I just crawled up on His lap with some heavy-heartedness and concerns and He read my mind as He held me with my inability to change circumstances or other's hearts or even to put it into the right words to plea for His help. I don't have to eloquently explain it to God and lay out a three step plan for Him to accomplish. A sigh while reclining completely on Him is sufficient.
Tell it to Jesus alone. Tell it to Jesus; tell it to Jesus. He is a friend that's well known! You've no other such a friend or brother. Tell it to Jesus alone." Jeremiah Rankin, 1877.