I must inform you that I pray very few times and I need to increase my prayer time. Just wanted to post my thoughts on what prayer is about. We take any religion, there is prayer. Whether it is Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc. All religions provide prayer as a means of communicating with God. Prayer is supposed to be the divine link between mortals and God.
But then start some problems. One is that people perceive prayer synonymous with granting of our wishes. So most prayers are made asking for this or for that. Mainly materialistic things. And when not obtained, there is discouragement which shows how hollow our praying was. Even I would shamefully suffer from the same situation. Also once we pray too often, especially prayers provided by so called priests, pundits, maulvis and so on, we forget the real meaning of prayer. Prayer just turns out to be a recitation of some memorized words which don't come from the heart but only from the mouth.
But prayer is much more than that. It is the path to our peace of mind. Prayer has been provided to us to relieve us from the stress that life throws at us. After a stressful day, just closing our eyes and talking to God (which is prayer), just mentioning our troubles to Him seems to bring extreme peace to our minds. That is what prayer is supposed to do.
So the next time you are stressed and go to a temple, mosque or church and by habit just tend to recite your prayers like a parrot, just pause for a minute and talk to God like to a friend. You will feel much, much better.