I am prayer shy. Let me explain why. At one time in my Christian life I desired a special thing very much. It was not in the material realm. I prayed unceasingly for it. Finally all circumstances fell into place and I received my request. I thought that God had willingly answered my prayer. I didn't know until later that the fulfillment of this longing caused a leanness in my soul. I had acted like the children of Israel in the wilderness:
"They quickly forgot His works. They did not wait for His counsel but craved intensely in the wilderness. So He gave them their request but sent a leanness into their souls."
Psalm 106: 13-15
During the difficult time that followed I searched for a way to separate my "craving intensely" from my prayer life. I wanted to learn how to "wait for His counsel" and to seek His will for me. I found a way. I call it "pray reading". It works like this: When I read my Bible I ask the Holy Spirit to show me what prayer requests to make. Then I listen "intently" and He tells me through the Word. This method not only keeps me from praying amiss but it gives me insight into what the Spirit wishes for me. It separates my human longing from God's hopes and desires for me.
O God, there are many things I want,
And blessings I think I need.
But give me only of Your best,
Though I pray and beg and plead.