It's tragic how easily we can miss the main ingredient in effective prayer. In our sin, we've been rewired to focus on us — on the steps we should take for our prayers to be heard. We have this bent toward believing that every result is born from method. If something works for somebody we want to know what that somebody is doing.
We've developed the assumption that if we can just strip it all down to a reproducible process to put into action, then the results will multiply. While this applies to certain things, it doesn't apply to prayer -- or at least that's not the vision the apostle James gives us. The main ingredient in effective prayer is emphatically not us.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]