What exactly is it that you are trying to practice when you practice prayer? In particular, what exactly is it that you are trying to practice when you practice prayer as an end in itself rather than as a means to some other end?
I take two things as axiomatic with respect to the practice of prayer.
1. Take the LDS Bible Dictionary’s very orthodox, very Mormon description of prayer:
Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional upon our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
The practice of prayer is not to change the will of God but, rather, to bring my will into correspondence with his. Prayer is the work of aligning my will with the Father’s.
LDS Bible Dictionaries aside, this is the kind of prayer exemplified by Jesus, prostrate in the garden: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39).
Jesus’ “nevertheless” is the hinge on which the practice of prayer turns, the hinge that turns my will away from itself and towards the Father’s.
2. Take Paul’s very orthodox, very Christian description of prayer in Romans 8:25-26:
But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
If the first thing to be considered is that the practice of prayer boils down to aligning my will with the Father’s, the second thing to consider is that I do not know the will of the Father. I do not know for what I ought to pray. His thoughts are not my thoughts, his ways are not my ways. The Spirit must itself make intercession for me to pray as I ought and, when it does, it will do so, Paul claims, with groanings that cannot be uttered.
The practice of prayer plays out between these two poles as the work of waiting on the Lord, as the work of patiently and persistently and attentively listening for his will to be manifest and then responding with an emphatic “amen, amen.”
The work of listening and and the work of remembering (again, and again, and again) to listen (again) are not just potential addenda to prayer, but its essence. Talking is simply a helpful frame. Talking doesn’t bring my will into correspondence with the Father’s, listening does.
The practice of prayer involves not just knocking on the Lord’s door but, above all, it involves the discipline of waiting for him there.