I have just journeyed to Jerusalem, and for a period of a couple of weeks. Such a journey required of me two conscious thoughts: how long and why. These questions attracted their answers and those answers then informed what I took with me on that journey - both in terms of specifics and in terms of volume.
To me, prayer is a journey before and with God. It seemed clear to me, as I toiled across an airport concourse with a large suitcase that I had just that which I needed - perhaps an obvious statement, but one that nonetheless should not be ignored. Had I travelled for a weekend, I would have taken a small pack. Had I travelled for a gliding holiday, I would have carried with me things quite distinct from the clothing and materials that I had packed for this journey.
I have pondered this over the last little while in regards to my own prayer life. Whilst I can only ever speak for myself, I now recognise that in prayer I take with me into that encounter with God what I think I need, and mindful of the time-frame in question. This is to say, I am try to be purposeful in prayer - be that the purpose of pondering, of supplication etc. What I am now conscious of is not to turn up for a 'weekend' prayer packed for a month, and not for a study tour with my gliding paraphernalia.