Here St. Francis de Sales gives advice on how to pray:
“We are always wishing for this or that, and though we have our sweet Jesus in our breasts, we are not content. Yet it is all we can desire. One thing alone is necessary, and that is, to he near Him.” Therefore, “Frequently during the day cast your heart, your mind, and your care upon God with great confidence, saying, ‘I am thine, save me.'”
“Let us humble ourselves and speak of our wounds and miseries at the door of the temple of divine piety; but remember to show them with joy, and be perfectly happy to appear in want and despoiled of all things, in order that our Lord may fill you with his grace.”
“Frequently raise your heart to God, ask his help, and let the foundation of your consolation be the happiness of belonging to Him.”
“Do not be angry, or at least troubled because you have been troubled; do not be overcome because you have allowed yourself to be overcome; do not be disquieted because you have allowed yourself to be disquieted by angry passions; but take your heart and place it gently in the hands of our Lord and ask Him to cure it; meanwhile, do all you can to renew and strengthen your good resolutions.”
And what if certain prayers of petition seem to go unanswered? “When you have meditated upon the grievous anguish which our Master endured in the Garden, and in union with Him prayed to the Father for consolation, if it does not please Him to send it, think no more of it, but brace your courage to work out your salvation.”
And again, “Think of that great dereliction which our Master endured, and see how this dear Son, having asked consolation of his good Father, and seeing that He willed not to grant it, thought of it no more, ceased to seek it, but, as if He had never desired it, valiantly and courageously set about the work of our redemption. After you shall have prayed to your Heavenly Father for consolation, if it does not please Him to give it you, cease to think of it, but renew your courage to work out your salvation.”
Quotations from Maxims and Counsels of St. Francis de Sales, translated by Ella McMahon (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son, 1884).