My experience has been with specific answers to specific prayers, answered on time. This is not self-hypnosis or any other justification. It is a conversation with the most powerful Being in the universe, who cares about me.
I have been taught that reading the Bible is not just a religious exercise. By thinking about the words and experiences, one can come to have a better idea of how our Creator thinks. It is easy for the faithless to look at the Bible as the product of men, often because they are not motivated to learn the context or the circumstances of the verses. If you do search for God, he will let himself be found.
This is why a basic requirement of getting one's prayers answered is faith.
6 Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.
5 So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him. 6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. 7 In fact, that man should not expect to receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.