I keep thinking I've posted about this before, but if I have, I can't find it.
What does that mean? Well, it doesn't mean you hand God your laundry list and walk away. It doesn't mean your life will be easy and materially wealthy (although it could happen). It doesn't mean you'll always get to park right in front of the store you must enter.
Let's back up a step. What is prayer?
Boy, howdy, how many 1000s of books have been written on that question? Even on Jesus' answer to the disciples when they asked, "Lord, teach us to pray." (That answer was the Lord's Prayer, by the way).
I've always thought of prayer as a conversation between me and God. I do a lot of talking, He does a lot of listening, and somewhere in the middle, we get along.
I recently heard a definition of prayer that made a great deal of sense. Prayer is learning to align myself with God's will. When I pray, I deliberately submit to my Lord's authority over me. I allow the Holy Spirit within me to reach out to Father God and Brother Jesus and recalibrate.
(Turtle trail: some may bristle at "brother" Jesus, but the Bible calls us co-heirs with Christ, adopted children of God, and that makes Jesus my brother. Besides, I have such great brothers, it's easy for me to relate to Jesus that way.)
That is a sketchy analogy. I don't mean to imply the Holy Spirit is ever separate from Himself. But the part of Him that indwells me will teach me to be more fully part of God if I let Him - through prayer.
I think of it like that scene from Tron, when Tron has gotten to the I/O tower and contacted Alan I. Tron stands on the platform, his hands and program disc raised, awaiting instructions from his User. Once he receives them, he's off to kick a little Master Control digital tail. Great movie. Ground-breaking, really.
So, when I pray now, I try to be like Tron, confident my instructions will come and praising God in the meanwhile (Only a true Christian geek will nod along with me on this one, but my readers should know by now I learn from many sources, including secular).
I say it again. Prayer works. If you seek God, you will find Him, and He will change you. It won't be easy. It may not be fun (I doubt Tron was happy about his task until it was over). But, in the long run, it will be better than what you're doing now.