How to make dua:
I have often posted parts of this, but I think this thread is here to stay, so here goes:
Ideally dua should begin with thana (praise of Allah), praying for Allah's Blessings on His last Prophet (saw) (duroode Ibrahimi, the one we recite after the tahyeeaat), then one's supplication, then the end.
I use Surah Fateha, of course with ta3awwudh and bismillah.
Then I recite the duroode Ibrahimi.
Then to emphasize that Allah (swt) is blameless, and I am the one who is most likely to be at fault, I say istaghfaar. There is a hadith to the effect that whoever regularly says istaghfaar, Allah (swt) will solve his problems through an hitherto unknown door.
Sometimes I say the dua of Yunus (as), for in the ayah after this, Allah says: "and this is how we relieve mumineen"
La ilaha illa anta subhanaka innee kuntu minazZwalimeen
Then I say my dua
Rabbana taqabbal minna, innaka antas-samee-ul-Aleem
Wa tub alaena, innaka anatat-Tawwabur Raheem
Then 3 times the following:
Subhana Rabbika Rabbil izzate amma yasifoon
Wa Salaamul alal Mursaleen
Wal hamdu lillahi Rabbil Alameen
Amal for acute or chronic problems:
When there is an acute or chronic problem, like an illness, here is an amal that is based on Surah Fatiha.
Between the Sunnah and the Fard rakaahs of the Fajr prayers,
start with duroode Ibrahimi, at least once, or in odd numbers
Say Surah Fateha 41 times, together with ta3awwudh and bismillah, every time
Say duroode Ibrahimi again (the number of times you said at the beginning)
Then blow your breath on the sick person, or the one with problems. (It could be you).
No other word is to be spoken. No diversion for other tasks.
Repeat for 40 days.
It has been used in my family, for very serious problems of health, with very satisfactory results, alHamdulillah.
I have seen it in Hafiz Rehmani's book.