One of the purposes of prayer is to open us up to God's Presence within us. We are temples of the Most High and prayer and meditation open us up to this reality.When we pray we are giving The Lord access to our innermost beings. He removes the bandaids that we have put on our wounds so that He can access them. A bandaid doesn't fix a wound, it simply covers it. These bandages are the protective devices that we have put up over the years. Our defenses. Sometimes God removes them slowly. Sometimes quickly. Ouch! We are shocked at how much the wound has festered. Next time we'll go right to the Divine Physician.
God heals us. I have often been told over the years that I really should do certain prayers a specific number of times for them to be answered. Nonsense. God can hear the softest whisper. God can read our hearts. He doesn't NEED our prayers. He is completely self-sufficient on his own. However, He knows that we NEED HIM! It's not the formula but the heart that matters. People can get attached to certain prayers and forget that it's not the prayer but the GOD behind the prayer that matters. Does this mean we shouldn't do novenas? Of course it doesn't. But neither should we think that if we follow a specific prayer formula our prayers will be stronger and more likely to be answered. Better 1 heartfelt prayer than 20 mumbled ones.