God is real. God exists and listens, we just need to talk to Him. Prayer does not need to be formal or done in some special place.
Prayer is just talking and connecting to God in reality. Prayer is not phony, and we don’t need to make things up. When praying to God, just start saying what is on your heart as you think about God. Prayer is a dialog between us and God. We can pray alone or with others. We can pray when we love God, and when we hate God. If we are hurting because of something that happened, we need to be open and honest and tell God the truth.
Prayer can be an expression of what we feel when we are very encouraged, or an expression of how we feel when we are very depressed and low. We can pray when we think we are a perfect saint (but only God is perfect), or we can pray when we recognize we are sinners (and we all are sinners). We can pray when we are happy and we can pray when we are sad. After praying, we may feel high, or we may feel low, but God is faithful to hear our prayer, and never changes.
Jesus said in John 15:7, If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall come to pass to you.
The Spirit makes it easy to pray, because He knows how and what to pray. Without the Spirit, prayer is hard. With the Spirit, prayer is easy. Romans 8:26, And in like manner the Spirit joins also its help to our weakness; for we do not know what we should pray for as is fitting, but the Spirit itself makes intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Look at the prayers of David in the Psalms. David just talked to God and told Him what he thought and how he felt. When David was low, he said, “God, I am depressed”, but eventually he learned to praise God even in the dark places. When David was feeling great, He praised God. Psalms 8:2, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou established praise because of Thine adversaries, to still the enemy and the avenger.
Also consider some of the points in the article on “What is Prayer”