I believe that each person understands religion and God in his own way according to the state of his jivatma. Some go by faith, some try to reason and some others directly see the truth. So there is no one right way to understand God or to pray. Having said this I would say one should most importantly try to understand one's true nature . Though ultimately the Atman is one's true nature, understanding the jivatma and how it syncs with the overall scheme of things, helps one in forming the right perspective and be at peace with oneself.
There is another way:
na dharma nishtOsmi, na cha AtmavEdi, na bhaktimAn, twachcharaNAravindE, akinchanO ananyagatissaranya
twat pAdamoolam saranam prapatyE.