In Christianity Today, Megan Hill writes:
We communicate that happy thoughts are a legitimate alternative to prayer. We incidentally equate the two. I doubt most of us would be satisfied if the boss chose to pay us in Monopoly money or the waitress delivered plates of plastic play food to our table. This kind of indifference—prayer or good wishes, take your pick—denies before our unbelieving friends the Bible’s rich teaching on what prayer really is.
Prayer is not a magic incantation or the smoke gone up from blown-out birthday candles. Prayer is substantive and effective and absolutely necessary.
Read this excellent article here