This made me think for a while. Whenever I pray, it would usually be so that I can ask God for something--may it be for good weather, a safe trip, something to not happen, or for a particular milestone to happen (i.e. get pregnant). If it happens, I would thank God for answering my prayers. But if not, I pray again for it to happen "soon" or "next time." But if the naysayers are true, then my prayers have nothing to do with what I want and whether or not I will get it. So, am I doing it wrong? Am I praying incorrectly? Should I be praying at all?
Further reflecting on my act of prayer, I realize that there is more to it than the formulaic A.R.T.S. (i.e. Adoration, Repentance, Thanksgiving, Supplemental--this what was taught to me in Catholic School). Assuming that you are in the proper mindset while in prayer (i.e. not distracted and not just mumbling memorized words), prayer can give you a sense of clarity and direction in life. You get to realize your heart's desires, your life's priorities, your current motivations... all in all, what you feel will make you happy. In a less abstract sense, when you are praying for something (or someone), you get to know what you currently consider important enough to waste your time and thoughts on.
Now after praying, it would be more practical to get a head start in realizing your goals; to do something about what it is you want, instead of waiting for Divine Intervention. Sure, a miracle is most definitely welcome, but it is also a good thing to own whatever it is that you want to achieve. This, I think is the most productive way of getting what you pray for. And if you get what you want, who cares if it is fate or your own doing? Point is, you've reached your goal. That's all that matters.