I have realized something about myself that I am not particularly proud of...I don't pray nearly as much as I think I do.
Because I spend so much time reading, writing, thinking, teaching, analyzing and discussing God it is far too easy for me to be deceived into thinking I have prayed to Him. But talking about someone isn't the same as talking to them. Knowing a lot about them doesn't translate directly into knowing them.
The best analogy I can think of is a 'fan club' president who has studied photos, biographical information and second hand stories of other people's encounters with the celebrity but never actually spent any time getting to know the person for themselves.
We serve a God of relationships. When Adam & Eve walked in the garden as God intended it, they communed with Him. This is the way it was meant to be.
My friend Holly challenged our small group years ago with this: If you are talking/thinking about it more than you are praying about it, things are out of order.
It is a question I am mulling lately. Godly counsel is good. Venting, processing, fellowship with friends is therapeutic. Writing is a release. Reading Christian books inspires and challenges me. But none of these things is a substitute for my heart and mind taking its concerns before the throne of God.
Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet...God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Ephesians 6:13-17 The Message