For me, prayer takes several forms, among them dire need and meditation. Dire need occurs once in a while, and it is usually answered, often in a way I had not anticipated. It is the joy of relief to have such a prayer answered, and is frequently remembered at a later date when one is engaged in a more scheduled form of prayer.
That with me is often the rosary, which, with practice includes meditation. When going over a topic in the mind, we often learn things on that subject, and can later verify it by consulting the computer. Another form of prayer is a petition to help a friend or someone else in need. If prayers are answered, why not for someone else’s benefit?