When we want to get stronger and healthier, we exercise. We may start out slowly, just a little bit so our bodies don't get overwhelmed. For me, if I started out by running a couple of miles, I would be so sore the next day that I would give up. Who am I kidding? I can't even run half a mile!
The same is true of exercising your prayer muscles. Maybe you aren't sure how to go about it, but you start with praying a few minutes here and there. Just like the illustration of a plant, it doesn't pop out of the ground fully formed and with fruit on the first day like Jack and the Beanstalk. It takes time to grow. We need to strengthen our prayer muscles a little at a time, but as quickly as the Holy Spirit will lead us.
I read an article called Mother's Wonder Working Words. It was written about a little Norwegian lady who had an abusive husband and trouble with her children. She was determined to stay in her marriage for the sake of the children. We could argue about that choice, but that was the choice she made. She found some verses in the scriptures about faith and the power of God's word and she began putting them to the test. She prayed over her sick chickens and live stock. As she saw answers to her prayers, her faith grew. Little by little, this little lady became a spiritual prayer giant.
Who are you praying to? Begin to get to know the King of the universe. Read the scriptures. Call Him by His many names and begin to realize how He is your shepherd, redeemer, healer, savior...
Then, find opportunities during the day to pray and pray specifically. Pray for the homeless person you see on the street. Pray for the ambulance that rushes past you on the way to an emergency. Pray for things that happen during the day, giving glory to God for the answers that you may or may not be able to see. Sprinkle your prayers with plenty of praise.
Make sure that you don't have barriers of unconfessed sin or rocks of unforgiveness blocking your prayers. Those things take you on detours and are obstacles in your path. Jesus is ready and waiting to clear your pathway.
As you exercise your prayer muscles, you will grow stronger and stronger in the Lord. He will lead you in your prayers and in time, you may be praying a marathon!