Luke 11:1 "Lord, teach us to pray."
We pray when we need something from God and it is always our first request when all is lost. Prayer is not about getting what we want but instead about getting to know God. Oswald Chambers described it like this: When a man is at his wits' end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get into touch with reality.
Prayer is not so much about changing circumstances as it is in changing us. When we are changed then God gives us what we need to change things around us. For example, when I went through my own divorce God did not restore my marriage. Instead, he restored me to Him and I was able to accept the loss and move forward in the direction God had for my own life.
God continues to watch over me and I understand more about unanswered prayers. They have all been answered much like a parent with yes and no. As parents we can't give our children everything they ask for but we do try to give them everything they need. God is our parent and understands what is best but through prayer he always changes us. Prayer is more about that change in us than the change of circumstances.
Pray for everything and expect the prayer to change you more than your circumstances.
This picture was taken on my vacation on the beach, May 2013.