“You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (John 16:24, NLT)
“Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished … the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things. Yet a child exhibits boldness to ask! Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems – the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.
(from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers)