When I was in high school, my prayers to God were pretty much like this: "Dear God, thank you for giving me such a nice family, a healthy body, and letting me be born in America. Please help my brother to stay out of trouble, for there to be world peace, for all those who are sick, for [name of certain boy] to like me, and please help me to get into the University of Illinois. Thank you. Amen." I often felt like a robot, awkwardly attempting to speak to someone thousands of miles away. I didn't feel close to my Father at all.
But when I moved to St. John's Newman Center my freshman year [and yes, God helped me get into Illinois :-] the layers of my iciness began chipping away. I really don't believe my prayer style would have EVER changed except for being involved with a fantastic, faithful network of Catholic college students. But upon arriving, I immediately noticed my prayers were a bit shorter than everyone else's ;-) Haha. I wondered how they could take sooo long!
However, it is important to remember Matthew 6:6 and the reward of prayer in the quiet of one's own room. It is also important to remember Saint Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort's wisdom: "A single Hail Mary said properly is worth more than a hundred and fifty said badly." But most of all, it was by prayerfully asking, attending college retreats, and seeking advice from close friends that I have become friends with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Every day, I share my joys and complaints, fears and worries, and hopes and dreams with our Lord. Through prayer, I feel as if I am talking to one of my best friends, and my Father speaks back to me by speaking to my heart.