Francis de Sales’ “Steps of Prayer”.
Step 1: Preparation. Let the imagination roam, placing yourself in the presence of God, affirming that since God is everywhere, he is here now. Think of Christ as standing at your side, sharing your experience. Offer a prayer of confession and request guidance in the meditation to follow.
Step 2: Consideration. Propose a subject, perhaps suggested by a Bible passage you just read, and focus your mind on that subject. Act “like the bees, who do not leave a flower so long as they find any honey there to gather
Step 3: Resolution. Involve your feelings and your will. How should your life change as a result of what you have considered? Resolve to make those changes accordingly, with God’s help.
Step 4: Conclusion. As if you have been walking in a garden, choose a few flowers to take with you the rest of the day. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for what you have learned, of consecration for what you intend to change, of petition for grace and strength to fulfill the resolution
[These were found in Yancey's PRAYER, p. 162]
I think it is helpful to have steps (sometimes). It’s helpful because in such rhythms we can find a certain permission, an open door to see something new and speak something from the heart to God. Yet when we digress into rote regurgitation, we slowly begin to miss the point of our prayer: God is God and we by grace through faith are learning how to see Reality (Truth) in the image of Jesus.