That's a phrase I use a lot. Mostly because I have become lazy in my speech, and tend to leave off unnecessary pronouns like "I".
So last night in house group, we read Paul's prayer for the Ephesians and the comment was made that we do not pray for others in the same way that Paul did. He prayed for the eyes of their hearts to be enlightened, for them to have a spirit of wisdom, for them to understand the power of God. I'm afraid that most of the prayers that we hear these days hang around in the health and safety end of the pool.
However, I had thought (perhaps naively) that this phenomenon was limited to public prayers, and had just supposed that every one's private prayers are kind of like mine-- at a different point on the maturity scale, sure, but still similar in types of things we pray for. I've been praying for deeper relationships between the brethren at South Plains. I've prayed that we stop being satisfied with a whitewashed version of normal American life, and seek for lives following Christ more closely every day. I pray that we stop being afraid to be different from the world. I usually don't pray for people who are travelling, because I usually can't remember who is travelling. And unless it is either a serious illness or it is someone close to me, I generally can't remember to pray for those who are sick, either.
I don't think that God intended us to discuss the travel plans and sniffles of everyone we know when he gave us this gift of prayer. At least, not exclusively. I want to talk to God about things that actually matter to me. And as I grow in my walk with Christ, I want to talk to him about things that matter to him.