This is very basic, as so much here, but the basics is often important.
When I pray for a shift in myself, healing for someone else or a situation, or something else, I stay with it until there is a clear shift, and then continue a bit longer so the shift can deepen and stabilize.
In other words, I “pray through” what often is an initial sense of lack of alignment, gruff, or things in me or the situation generally not aligned with a deep healing or flow.
And then I revisit it as often as feels needed.
Of course, I don’t always do this. But I do it when the situations feels especially important.
When I pray, my main intention is for the divine to work on me and align me more deeply with reality. (This may include emotional healing, an opening of the heart, a more genuine well-wisihing for myself and others, a more genuine receptivity, a softening or release of whatever I think “should” be, and so on.) If I pray for someone else or a situation, I may gently hold a specific outcome but mainly ask for whatever is best for the person or the situation to happen.