Effective prayers come from the heart. At least that's what I learnt last weekend. I was translating a short English prayer into Malay for my friend who has been assigned to say it for their church international night. It was a beautifully worded prayer, one that will surely touch many hearts.
Then a friend's mom asked to look at it, and she started copying down the words. She is a Muslim. Surprised I ask her "why are you copying that?" She said the words are so beautiful she surely can learn something from it. Stupidly I asked again, "but don't you have to pray in Arabic?" She said, "We do, but that's one kind of prayers. The other is from your heart, one that you learn from good sources, then you say from your heart with all your feelings poured into it".
It was a valuable lesson to me. Prayers are universal. And the most effective ones come from the heart. They are beyond religions, they are between you and your God and no one else.