Proximity and relationship determine how you talk to people. Your familiarity with someone determines your how you converse with them.
People you don't know particularly well you tend to be more formal and guarded in language and have only superficial relationships with, while people you know very well you can be very casual and direct with, and have very deep relationships with.
The same goes with God. Your understanding of God shapes everything in your life, including your prayer.
There are plenty of misconceptions about God. Here is a short list.
- Some people think God is grumpy, cranky, angry, upset all the time, and unable to be pleased.
- Some people have the "crouching tiger" god - ready to pounce when you make a wrong move.
- Some think of God as the cosmic cop whose goal is to make sure you follow the rules; or a dictator, always demanding more and more; or the Santa Claus god, where he's making a list and checking it twice.
- Some people have what I call the Play-Doh god, which is where you make him into any form you want at that time.
- Some people say, "I like to think of God as..."
Well, I'm sorry it doesn't really matter what you like to think. When it comes to God, it's what is He really like, not what you like to think of Him as.
It's important that you know the real God. If you have a misconception about God, prayer is going to be boring for you - something you have to do out of guilt, or duty. Don't guilt yourself into praying, God doesn't want you to pray out of guilt.
The better you understand God and his nature, the better your prayer life and relationship with him will be.