Prayer is the respiration of the soul, the intimate bond with one's Creator and Savior...
It's a little like a plant needing water and fertilizer to grow and develop—the divine life sowed in our soul at baptism can only grow and mature in its own unique way (i.e. to attain maturity with the fullness of Christ himself for each and every one of us), with the bread of the sacraments and... the water of prayers! Therefore, whatever our state of life (lay or consecrated) and occupations—personal, professional or public—the interior recollection in silence before God is the most important attitude of prayer, putting us in contact with the One who is our source, the Source.
As for the various forms of prayer, they differ along with the very variety of every individual soul in its intimate dialogue with the Lord.
However, personal prayer neither replaces nor suppresses the different prayer of the Church, for instance the different liturgical offices, the "Our Father" that Jesus Himself taught us, the "Hail Mary" or the "Angel's Salutation to Mary," the fundamental Christian prayers, or the prayers in groups (i.e. of intercession).
Some people think—erroneously—that if laudatory prayer is something positive, intercessory prayer is somewhat inferior, since "one cannot change God' heart, He who knows our needs better than we do"... Of course, we cannot change God's heart through prayer, but it is God Himself who changes our hearts as well as those for whom we pray... That is why in the Gospel Christ so insists:
"Ask, and it will be given to you;
search, and you will find;
knock, and the door will be opened to you... (Matt 7:7)
For if prayer cannot change God's heart, without prayer the door of our soul remains closed and the power of God will not go in by force.