Prayer is a vitally important part of our Christian walk, but it's often greatly misunderstood. Prayer is how we talk with our Heavenly Father. It can never be used to manipulate God nor cause Him to do anything outside His perfect will. God is not our magic genie who has to grant our wishes!
Our attitude toward prayer reveals much about how we view God and the closeness of our relationship through faith in Jesus. If we continually wait for a crisis before we pray, we actually demonstrate a lack of love. A man may say he loves his wife but if he only occasionally talks with her, he reveals a shallow relationship. True love will always be reflected by a desire to spend time together.
And if we lift our problems to God in prayer but also give Him our expected solutions, we demonstrate a lack of trust and reveal a misunderstanding of His sovereign nature and limitless ability.
Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."
The consistent message through all of scripture is that God is calling us to a closer relationship - calling us to love Him with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). Therefore, our prayers MUST begin from a position of love. He wants us to continually know Him more and understand the true meaning of "My God will meet all your needs" (Philippians 4:19), and "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). He wants us to love Him and trust Him to provide!
It's foolish for us to limit God to our own understanding. He created the Universe and knew the end of time before the beginning. He can, and will, "perfectly" solve our problems. He is working all things together for the good and using all situations to conform us to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:28-29).
Through a proper attitude of prayer, we acknowledge and submit to God's sovereignty. We praise Him because we know He is able to do much more than anything we ask, and we submit to His perfect understanding and purpose; "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10) Our prayer is not matter of "working things out" with God - not of wrestling until we obtain OUR solution - rather, prayer simply becomes submission to His direction and trust in His perfect plan.
We must present ourselves as empty vessels and allow God to work through us each and every day. Let's love Him enough to "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Let's make our requests known, but then let's submit and humbly acknowledge that He can do immeasurably more.