And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions. Mosiah 21:14
If prayer is only a spasmodic cry at the time of crisis, then it is utterly selfish, and we come to think of God as a repairman or a service agency to help us only in our emergencies.
When I opened my eyes again, I had a moment of clarity. I watched my friends acting foolishly and no longer saw myself belonging to that group. I left and decided to stop drinking and going to parties. That meant I would need to change my group of friends, which was not easy. But I did it.
This experience turned out to be one of those moments when I knew that God had a plan for me and part of that plan was for me to learn of the true doctrine of Jesus Christ's Church. I didn't know it at that moment, but the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead Himself, testified to me that what I was learning from the missionaries was indeed true. I thirsted for more!
In retrospect, I could clearly see that God had a specific plan for me years before I even knew about the Church. I have always believed that God was real and that Jesus Christ was His Son, but I never truly understood the impact that joining this perfectly organized Church would have on me.
Just as the Savior adapted his prayer on the different occasions and circumstances in which he gave it, so we should always be tailoring what we pray for to our specific needs and circumstances, avoiding “vain repetitions”.
Similar to your earthly parents, God wants to hear from you, and He wants to talk to you. When you pray, He does listen.
I am eternally grateful that the Spirit of the Lord gave me my own personal witness that the message the missionaries delivered to me was of divine nature, and that if I were to be obedient to the things I learned for myself to be true, I would be blessed beyond measure.