2) God, of course, being God, and therefore omnipotent and omniscient, knows our needs even before we express them. Though it is good to ask Him for our needs.
You seem to be referring here specifically to prayer of petition.
Jesus said Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe. We cannot see God but sometimes He gives us a feeling of the assurance of His Presence, though this is not at all essential to our Faith. Gazing on a beautiful image of Jesus and His Holy Mother can assist us.
Jesus also tells us to PRAY ALWAYS. That means that He will be on our minds and in our hearts in every waking moment. This is what must be working towards.