There are five fingers to real prayer:
Prayer is internal not external. One does not need to say a prayer aloud for it to be real.
Prayer seeks inner fulfillment, rather that outer manipulation.
Prayer is standing at attention before God ready not only to speak to God but also to listen for God. Before you say amen, shut up and listen for a time.
The goal of praying is not the fulfilling of our request; it is communication with God.
In prayer we don’t need to tell God what to do, we need to seek God’s message for us.