Stanley Grenz writes that petitionary prayer (asking prayer) "is in part the struggle to admit our dependence. It is the struggle to overcome our human blindness and pride."
Then Grenz adds: "This acknowledgment is precisely what lays hold of and releases God's resources." (Grenz, Prayer: The Cry For the Kingdom, 47-48)
Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need. It is the voice of a beggar, conscious of his poverty, asking of another the thing he needs... Not to pray is not only to declare that there is nothing needed, but to admit to a nonrealization of that need.
E.M. Bounds, Prayer, 166
Prayer is a cry to God for help. Prayer confesses "I've fallen and I can't get up." "I've screwed up and I can't fix it." "I'm in a hard situation and I can't self-extricate." I'm asking God for assistance and rescue and redemption. Asking-prayer "is based on an awareness of dependence on God. It is the cry for the kingdom voiced by persons who realize that only the in-breaking of God's reign can remedy the challenging situations that we face." (Grenz, 48)
In this way prayer is like faith. When I pray I open my empty hand and ask God's provision to fill it.