When I was first married, my wife and a young lady friend insisted on going “window-shopping.” Since I was broke, I felt a great deal of unease about the proposal, until I learned that they did not plan to buy anything: they were merely going to “shop.” And gradually I learned that a woman can shop half of a day without really expecting to bring anything home!
And so it is that people often “pray.” They “pray” and “pray” but do not get anything; indeed, they do not expect to get anything. That is not the reason they “pray.” But though they call it praying, really it is not real prayer if it does not come with a definite petition, asking something from God.
John R. Rice
Prayer: Asking And Receiving