Prayer is far, far more than a list. It's an opportunity to center.
A while back I worked at a civil engineering firm. While there I spent a fair amount of time calibrating equipment. Uncalibrated equipment was the bane of my existence. I had spreadsheets just to organize the spreadsheets on which the various equipment calibrations were recorded. Dozens of field technicians in our department left each day with their trucks loaded with equipment - some of them literally driving around with hundreds of thousands of dollars in gear. Calibrated equipment produced trustworthy results. This was important to because everyone involved in on a project - say like an airport runway - wanted to know for certain that the work would be up to the demands put on it once completed. So - when a new shipment of equipment would arrive - I would come to work at 5am and calibrate and calibrate and calibrate - and get what was needed into the technician's hands so our customers could be at ease.
While I do believe that there's a place for the lists in prayer ... lists of concerns, lists of people we love and want to pray a hedge around, lists of ministries we want God to bless, loved one's whose families and homes we want God to grant His favor to - it seems that at least part of what can happen in prayer - is something like "calibration"
We step into God's presence when we pray - and by the sheer act of pursuing Him - we say no to pursuits that are contrary to Him. We may not even always notice or recognize when we do this - and then again there are times when we are very conscious of this calibrating or centering effect. "To pursue knowing a Righteous God is a righteous act" I remember hearing an old campus minister say once - a guy who'd worked as a cowboy - an honest to goodness cowboy - before he found himself being called to campus ministry. When he spoke it was invariably to the point.
I can still tell you how to calibrate some equipment - if you're somehow so bored that you want to hear it. I can't really explain how prayer calibrates us - well - not sufficiently well to get an entry into the ASTM books on calibration. What I can say is that if you - for instance - take some time to pray - not through a list - but to totally unfettered allow yourself to wander around prayer - the way you might wander about an intriguing park - you might find yourself quite enchanted by prayer.
There's an old saying that goes back quite a ways into the history of those following Christ and giving their lives to Him - "Prayer is the breath of the Christian". There are surely as many ways to pray as there are people who want to encounter God in prayer - but if you feel stuck, or would like a place to start - then please allow me to suggest - that just before going through that door in your mind - that you consciously allow yourself to lay all of today (or yesterday if it's early) down outside that door before going in ... just sacrificially lay it down. Whatever it was or is - it is past. We have only this moment. There is no need to bring anything through the door with us. So often - doors and door frames get beat up because over size-loads get bungled through them. So let's just lay it down. Make something of an offering - a gift - of it. It is all already out of our hands. Lay it in God's hands - He'll take excellent care of all your cares - and step through unburdened and rest.