Prayer consists in having the Lord not only near in mouth, but also near in heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).
Prayer does not comprise one empty phrase heaped upon another. Rather, prayer is the mouth proclaiming phrases that proceed from the heart. The heartfelt phrases may be in the form of petitions and complaints, acclamations of praise and glory, and declarations of faith and hope. During prayer, the heart should also be still and listen.
The Patriarchs, Prophets, and Psalmists entered into such fervent dialogue with the Lord. The Gospels are similarly filled with such prayerful dialogue between Jesus and His Father in Heaven.