Allah سبحانه وتعالى out of love and compassion and in order to cleanse and purify a person and bring him closer to Him embroils him in tests, trials and tribulations. At such times one must not underestimate the power of du’a (supplication) since it brings out all of the qualities Allah سبحانه وتعالى loves in a person. These include admitting to one’s weakness and helplessness, humbleness, submission and throwing oneself before Him. Also du’a need not be at the time of a major calamity, but even at times of ghum (worry about the past) or hum (worry about the present or future) or after having sinned where one feels the need to repent. When praying salah, a person may not show true humbleness or submission, whereas in du’a even the most sinful of people will sincerely and utterly throw themselves before Allah سبحانه وتعالى.Furthermore, whilst making du’a, one should try to weep and also lavish praise upon Allah سبحانه وتعالى as Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,” Nobody loves to be praised more than Allah سبحانه وتعالى and that is why He has praised himself” [Reported by Bukhari].
Thus, when you make du’a praise Him as much as possible.
[This short excerpt is based on a brothers' majlis (gathering for spiritual training) held by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 10th June 1998]