I shout a solid, "Yes indeed!" to Kathy's question.Her question brings two things to my mind. Number one, many people want to focus just on what the pray-er is getting out of prayer and not what the pray-er is putting into it. God requests many things from us in various passages much like the request here that asks us to be people that forgive. Kathy included it in her citation and I would say that it is definitely a precursor to praying effectively. One of the other request he makes of us, not only here but other places, is that of being a believing people.
Which brings me to the second thing, that over the years I've met many people that pray very cautiously. Not in the "be careful what you pray for" sense of caution but more along the lines of not wanting to look like God's little fool. I think Spugeon's point is that in spite of how we may worry about looking like a fool, God asks us over and over again to ask. There are many more passages that flesh out exactly what that asking is to look like, but essentially I believe that passages like this one tell us that God desires that we come to him boldly and trustfully. A friend said to me today that it appears as if the emphasis in the Church of Today is all on believing in God but not believing God. Not only are we to trust God for and in everything, we really must trust that he means what he says and that he truly has our best interest.
There are Spiritual laws. Not in the prescriptive sense like speeding laws or other moral laws but descriptive laws, like the law of gravity, or thermodynamics, laws that can't be broken even if you wanted to. The Spiritual world is the true reality, it is more concrete than the one which all but the mystic and the insane commonly refer to as reality, the one that will go on for eternity after this physical realm is long gone, there are descriptive laws in that world as much as this shadow of reality. I wonder if some of the promises that Christ speaks of are not promises as in "if you do this for me, I promise I will do that for you", but instead the promise of reality like, if you step off of the roof of a building, you will fall to the ground.
So I also answer a humble and quiet, "I sure as heck hope so." I sure as heck hope that I am strong enough to be weak enough to ask God to create in me a forgiving heart, a pure heart, to accept the changes He works in me so that my prayers may be effective.
Thank you Kathy for a challenging question and verse, much like an apple a day.