I was challenged today in my devotional time with this question, "Have you put your trust in prayer instead of putting it in God? I have always thought of them as one in the same. My prayers are directed toward God, therefore I am trusting in God, right?
"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack."
If I were to go visit a farm with sheep, I would hear their endless bleating that would be nothing short of annoying to me. The picture here in scripture is that of the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) knowing each sheep's voice and understanding everything they say. I understand now the challenge of the question I posed earlier. Prayer is absolutely essential to our Christian walk. Just as a sheep makes noise for the shepherd, we do the same to God when we pray. We express ourselves though prayer and He takes care of us as He sees best. What is "good" for us, is not necessarily comfortable. To simply put faith in the words we say make us religious. To put faith in God yet never pray to Him makes us distant and self-sufficient.
Remember, a great prayer life is due to our great God and that alone. We do not have to say a perfect prayer, we simply need to share our heart with God. He alone is our shepherd. If you have prayed, have faith that He has heard your cry, He knows your heart, and He will act in your best interest in His time. Prayer makes a difference because of the one true God we pray to.
If you ever want an intense devotional, check out "The Experience: A Devotional and Journal" by Henry and Richard Blackaby. They constantly stretch and challenge me in my understanding of God's love and will for my life.