Prayer is a spiritual thing, and the truer it is to its nature the more pleasing it is to God.
(St. Augustine Sermon 210, paragraph 9)

At first reading, this observation from St. Augustine might seam rather obvious, prayer is spiritual.  For someone new to prayer or someone who has been praying for many years however, this basic instruction needs to be remembered.  We are not to be just repeating words, there needs to be connection between us and God, a spiritual connection.  Prayer is not like any other activity we take part in, we can not just go through the motions, can not just say or think the words.  We need to understand there is a person, Jesus, who is listening and He is pleased by our prayers.