“The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him.” - J. G. Machen.
An indispensible aspect of effective prayer is Faith; truly believing that God both hears and will answer. The reality is that often we approach God in prayer with the attitude that we don’t really expect Him to answer, we are simply hoping against hope that, maybe, He will grant our request this one time. It’s kind of like buying a lottery ticket; we know we probably won’t strike it rich but there is a small chance we will so we figure, “what do we have to lose?”. Hoping reluctantly that God will hear and answer is not faith; its wishful thinking, and will diffuse payer of its power every time. The underlying problem in this struggle is not unbelief, it’s lack of intimacy with God. The prayer of faith rests not in imply believing in what God is able do, but in being familiar enough with the heart and personality of God to understand what He is willing to do. When we begin to know God intimately, we begin to understand where His heart is and what He is passionate about. We begin to look at His promises in scripture as more than words on a page but bonds of a covenant between the Creator and His creation. This is the foundation of effective prayer; knowing that this God who has all power, knows me, loves me and has the desire to use His power on my behalf.