A recent meditation in my Weekday Missal spoke of the four general types of prayer. I have arranged them in the following way so that the first letters form a mnemonic:
It is important for us to engage in all of these frequently (daily ideally). The idea of making a pact with God to be entirely faithful is a core component of prayer. We petition Him for things that are good for us (which doesn’t always correspond to what we want). We adore Him for who He is and what He did (He made us and everything else!). We are contrite for failing Him, for being unfaithful. And we thank Him for the manifold blessings in our lives (regardless of any particular difficulties we may be facing at the moment).
The meditation goes on to say that “we must beware of praying only when we want something.” In fact, it says, over time we should be focused much more on adoration, thanksgiving, and true contrition. This is wise counsel. And when we do ask for things, let us get in the habit of completing every such prayer with “but, ‘Thy will be done'” (Mt 6:10). As this quote is taken from the Lord’s Prayer, it is hard to think of any better way to complete our requests. In fact, including the Our Father in each prayer time is a laudable thing. After all, Jesus told His disciples that, when they pray, they should say these very words (cf. Lk 11:2).