When I was growing up, my family said grace before meals, and we prayed together in church on Sundays. I did know you can pray any other time and I think everyone in my family did, just privately. My prayers focused around the following -
*Apologies for what I did wrong, and asking for protection - like the time one of my neighbors heard me and my friend trying out curse words in the field behind her house. I was petrified she was going to tell my parents, although she never did. I didn't say the "F" word again for probably 10 years.
*Asking for something different than what I had - like, "God I want to be skinny like so-and-so and have long blond hair and live in her house."
*Asking for a sister. This was a big one, and didn't stop until my mom gently told me that ain't happening.
*And on a serious note, praying that my dad's temper would calm. I'll leave that there, because although I've cracked the lid open, I don't really want to open pandora's box, and I never want my thoughts on my dad misconstrued.
Anyway, it wasn't until college that I learned the ACTS system of praying. The following is taken from ehow.com -
This is the method I am using to teach my children how to pray. There is no right or wrong way, God loves hearing our prayers, whether in thought, written or spoken word, song. But I feel like this method is easy to understand and helps you focus on the how of communicating with God in a way that is all-inclusive. Does that make sense?
Like I said, it's a work in progress, my prayerlife with God. Currently I am most concerned about the time I spend praying, which is not enough. Also I am working on meditating more on specific Scripture verses during my prayer time, which I rarely do even though I love it. Why don't I do more of what I love, when it always makes me feel "better" when I do it?