Excerpts from the writings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
In the past you may have been disappointed that your prayers were not answered. But do not lose faith....God is not a mute unfeeling Being. He is love itself. If you know how to meditate to make contact with Him, He will respond to your loving demands.
The first rule in prayer is to approach God only with legitimate desires. The second is to pray for their fulfilment, not as a beggar, but as a son: "I am Thy child. Thou art my Father. Thou and I are One." When you pray deeply and continuously you will feel a great joy welling up in your heart. Don't be satisfied until that joy manifests; for when you feel that all-satisfying joy in your heart, you will know that God has tuned in your prayer broadcast. Then pray to your Father: "Lord, this is my need. I am willing to work for it; please guide me and help me to have the right thoughts and to do the right things to bring about success. I will use my reason, and work with determination, but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right thing that I should do."
You should pray to God intimately, as His child, which you are. God does not object when you pray from your ego, as a stranger and a beggar, but you will find that your efforts are limited by that consciousness. God does not want you to give up your own will power, which is your divine birthright as His child.
To know exactly how and when to pray, according to the nature of our needs, is what brings the desired results. When the right method is applied, it sets in motion the proper laws of God; the operation of these laws scientifically bears results.
Prayer often implies the consciousness of beggary. We are children of God, not beggars, and are thus entitled to our divine inheritance. When we have established a connection of love between our souls and God, we have a right to lovingly demand the fulfilment of our legitimate prayers.
An unceasing demand for anything, mentally whispered with unflagging zeal and unflinching courage and faith, develops into a dynamic power that so influences the entire behaviour of the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious powers of man that the desired object is gained. The inner performance of mental whispers must be unceasing, undaunted by reverses. Then the desired-for object will materialize.