- Honesty. Honesty is essential. God sees it, we can't hide the truth from God, but we can hide the truth from ourselves, which cuts us off from God. Prayer should approach honesty as a foundation. If you have pain, anger, hurt, doubt, or fear, unburden yourself truthfully with God.
- Trust. You need to trust in God as a power greater than yourself who can do things for you that you can not do for yourself. Combining faith and honesty is very powerful.
- Apply the two tools of honesty and trust to find a place of peace by taking inventory so you can repent and so you can be grateful. Reflecting actively, not passively, is what taking inventory means. Making amends to others and finding gratitude within you are the two places reflection needs to lead you.
- Listen. Prayer is a conversation. All good conversationalists listen. The same may well be true of prayer. In listening expect that God may well tell you things that you do not know, expect or understand. Without the trust and humility it takes to listen, prayer can not lead you far.
Did God really mean it when He said ... (with thanks to Suzette Haden Elgin, I'm thinking of adding these in from time to time)
"my ways are not your ways, neither are my thoughts your thoughts"