The Spirit, by which we gain access to through the sacraments, helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with sighs too deep for words. The Holy Spirit is the master of prayer. (Rm 8:26)
As with any relationship, it is strongest when there is a two-way communication. Therefore we shouldn’t always be asking God for things and telling him to hurry on up. He knows what is best for us. Often we do not! It’s best to keep in mind that above all things we should trust that everything is grace and that everything comes from him: “In all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Rm 8:28) Speak to him as you would with what you would imagine as your ideal friend and guide- because that’s what he is! If God doesn’t answer your prayer, either he’s got something better for you or he wants you to wait a little longer and to grow in character before you are ready to receive it.
At the core, prayer is about strengthening your relationship with God. We are always the receiver and he is the giver. Just like any relationship, this can only be done when we dedicate one to one time with God. All of the great saints understood that our active lives can only flow from our time spent in prayer, in being filled with God’s life-giving Spirit. Silence is vital, because we can only hear God’s voice in quietness.