In terms of prayer faith opens the door ritual dampens the spirit. Who would have thought that something would come from nothing and yet it does so unerringly every time. Are there disappointments? Yes. But inevitably the thing will appear out of nothing. Except that nothing is really something.
Prayers are best spoken from a deep inner conviction of faith not as a beseeching even as an asking but as an expecting like you expect the next beat of your heart of your next breath to rise and fall. So it is too with our prayers. Prayer is our way of contacting expectation so that we will align ourselves with the unity of purpose that designed both the answer and the prayer. There is no difference. Your words in prayer have the deepest meanings. Stop to ponder their significance. The ritual of prayer cannot be duplicated but must come from a spontaneous heart.
The way you achieve faith is by the evidence of expectation. In other words you send up a trial balloon of expectation becoming as a child in your confidence in the unseen power that is coursing through you. Then when any bit of this power is manifested to you by way of the appearance of what it is you have asked for then you can place that bit of evidence in your bank of expectation fulfilled making it grow stronger increasing both your confidence in expectation and your capacity to build yourself an ever increasing storehouse of unending faith.
You don't make the rules but you must play by them. Without faith there is no connection. So therefore first faith and then connection which leads to more faith and so on and so on.
Prayer cannot be a mere ritual that you go through by rote getting it over with so that you can feel good about praying. Prayer can only be about a truly deep need that must be fulfilled. Prayer is the mold, the need is the fire, the kiln is consciousness, and the finished baked product is the fulfillment of prayer. It is the mirror image of prayer and is by definition the answer to prayer.
Prayer is not something you do because you are religious, or good, or even because a holy man told you to do it. Prayer is your conversation with holiness, with that which brought you into being and it is your way of making your world into your own image. Only you know what you want, what you need, what you must have. When your wishes, desires, plans, dreams are aligned with the holiness you are speaking to and about then and only then are there answers and fulfillments. Without this conversation there is no prayer nor its answer. Faith therefore is the start of every prayer and its fulfillment.