I have always believed that God somehow manifests himself through our own faith. Taking into account the big picture, where God is the root of all matter, and all of the accounts presented in the scriptures. It would make sense that as humans, we can connect with God based on our standing or conditioning with Him. In other words... if you have faith, you can /will connect with God.
The entire concept seems in no way linear or structured either since emotions can drive ones levels of faith as well. Fear, desire, love etc. They all seem to play a part in our state and capacity to connect with God. This phenomenon is synonymous of God's way, where one acts in order to achieve something.
Having said this, I rarely pray to God for nothing. It is usually something I do with a cause or purpose. I'm not criticizing others, I just don't see the sense in praying if your going to rattle off some recital and expect to accomplish anything.
Whenever I approach God, I always seek Him out. I usually meditate in a quiet environment first to get my thoughts lined up and then focus on connecting with God. One of my own methods is to empty my mind(black) and call out or reach for him in the darkness. Usually within minutes a feeling of a presence will begin to manifest itself. Once this has been established, I begin my prayer.
Sometimes, the feeling of a presence does not remain and I have to go out and seek it again. Sometimes, depending on the consistence of the feeling, I begin to accept that my topic is most likely of no interest to God. While other times, I receive an overwhelming sense of wellness or approval and conclude that my prayer and request was accepted.
Such experiences do alter my own faith and perception of God.