"We must not only pray for the faithful, who are our brothers already, but for those who are very far off, those poor unbelievers. Even though there seems to be a great distance and a thick wall between both, nevertheless we must have pity for their coming destruction, to the end that I may pray to God that he would draw them unto him. Since this is so, let us notice how backward a thing it is for every man to be committed to his own profit, and have no regard to his neighbors. For our Lord God has not created infinite worlds, for every man to dwell apart by himself, seeking nothing but his own private commodity. Instead he has placed us together, one with another. Since he makes us to dwell together, he has also bound us to think upon this, how we ought to communicate with our neighbors. And therefore he has made us of one nature. When I look upon a man, I cannot but behold my own image in him; and in seeing him I look upon myself and know myself in him. Moreover and beside this, there is another thing even more worthy to be considered, namely, the image of God which he has ingrained in us. Therefore if we bear any reverence and honor to God, it is good reason for us not to despise his image which he has ingrained in all men; and know what is said in the Scripture: that no man hates his own flesh, for it is a monstrous thing, and clearly against humanity. And when it speaks of flesh, this is extended to great and small, and to the greatest stranger in the word; as the prophet Isaiah also says (Isaiah 5:7). We see that God has joined us together upon this condition, that every one of us should employ himself to serve his neighbors as much as he can, and how he may. And we must do this in our prayers to God, for it is the greatest help we can give those who need our help. If I mean to help those to whom God has bound me, it is true that I must consider the means that I have; and as occasion serves, I must apply myself to it. But the greatest pleasure we can do for men is to pray to God for them, and call upon him for their salvation. In this behalf it is that Saint Paul commands all the faithful to exercise their charity." --John Calvin (Excerpt from Sermons on 1 Timothy)
"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain. The Samaritans at that time did, as we learn from the words of the woman, what is customary with those who have revolted from true godliness, to seek to shield themselves by the examples of the Fathers. It is certain that this was not the reason which induced them to offer sacrifices there, but after that they had framed a false and perverse worship, obstinacy followed, which was ingenious in contriving excuses. I acknowledge, indeed, that unsteady and thoughtless men are sometimes excited by foolish zeal, as if they had been bitten by a gad-fly, so that when they learn that any thing has been done by the Saints, they instantly seize on the example without any exercise of judgment." --John Calvin (1509-1564)
"For Christians to influence the world with the truth of God's Word requires the recovery of the great Reformation doctrine of vocation. Christians are called to God's service not only in church professions but also in every secular calling. The task of restoring truth to the culture depends largely on our laypeople.
"To bring back truth, on a practical level, the church must encourage Christians to be not merely consumers of culture but makers of culture. The church needs to cultivate Christian artists, musicians, novelists, filmmakers, journalists, attorneys, teachers, scientists, business executives, and the like, teaching its laypeople the sense in which every secular vocation-including, above all, the callings of husband, wife, and parent -- is a sphere of Christian ministry, a way of serving God and neighbor that is grounded in God's truth. Christian laypeople must be encouraged to be leaders in their fields, rather than eager-to-please followers, working from the assumptions of their biblical worldview, not the vapid cliches of pop culture." --J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)
"I have also no difficulty in conceding to you that there is nothing more perilous to our salvation than a distorted and perverse worship of God. The primary rudiments by which we are wont to train to piety those whom we wish to win as disciples to Christ, are these: not to frame any new worship of God for themselves at random and their own pleasure, but to know that the only legitimate worship is that which He Himself approved from the beginning. For we maintain, what the sacred oracle declared, that obedience is more excellent than any sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22). In short, we train them by every means to keep within the one rule of worship which they have received from His mouth, and bid farewell to all fictitious worship." --John Calvin (1539)
:The true Christian is the only happy man, because his conscience is at peace. That mysterious witness for God, which is so mercifully placed within us, is fully satisfied and at rest.
"It sees in the blood of Christ a complete cleansing away of all its guilt. It sees in the priesthood and mediation of Christ a complete answer to all its fears. It sees that through the sacrifice and death of Christ, God can now be just, and the justifier of the ungodly. It no longer bites and stings, and makes its possessor afraid of himself.
"The Lord Jesus Christ has amply met all its requirements. Conscience is no longer the enemy of the true Christian, but his friend and advisor. Therefore he is happy!" --J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)
"But renounce the hidden things. While he [Paul] commends his own sincerity, he, on the other hand, indirectly reproves the false Apostles, who, while they corrupted by their ambition the genuine excellence of the gospel, were, nevertheless, desirous of exclusive distinction. Hence the faults, from which he declares himself to be exempt, he indirectly imputes to them. By the hidden things of disgrace, or concealments, some understand the shadows of the Mosaic law. Chrysostom understands the expression to mean the vain show, by which they endeavoured to recommend themselves. I understand by it: all the disguises, with which they adulterated the pure and native beauty of the gospel. For as chaste and virtuous women, satisfied with the gracefulness of natural beauty, do not resort to artificial adornings, while harlots never think themselves sufficiently adorned, unless they have corrupted nature, so Paul glories in having set forth the pure gospel, while others set forth one that was disguised, and covered over with unseemly additions. For as they were ashamed of the simplicity of Christ, or at least could not have distinction from true excellencies of Apostles, they framed a new gospel, not unlike a profane philosophy, swelled up with empty bombast, while altogether devoid of the efficacy of the Spirit. Spurious ornaments of this nature, by which the gospel is disfigured, he calls the concealments of disgrace, because the nakedness of those, who have recourse to concealments and disguises, must of necessity be dishonourable and disgraceful." --R. Scott Clark
"This is an argument from the less to the greater; for if every idle word is to be called in question, how would God spare the open blasphemies and sacrilegious insolence of those who bark against his glory? An idle word means one that is useless, or that yields no edification or advantage. Many look upon this as too severe; but if we consider the purpose for which our tongues were made, we will acknowledge, that those men are justly held guilty who unthinkingly devote them to trifling fooleries, and prostitute them to such a purpose. It is no light fault to abuse, for frivolous purposes, the time, which Paul enjoins us to be careful to redeem, (Eph 5:16; Col 4:5).
"Now since no man is so cautious in speech, or maintains such a wise restraint upon himself, as never to allow some idle words to escape him, there remains for all of us absolute despair, if the Lord should treat us with rigor. But as the confident hope of our salvation rests on the assurance that God will not enter into judgment with us, (Psa 143:2,) but will bury in gracious forgetfulness the sins which deserve innumerable deaths, we entertain no doubt that, when He removes the condemnation of our whole life, He will likewise pardon the guilt of idle talking. When the judgment of God is mentioned in Scripture, it does not in any way set aside the forgiveness of sins. And yet let no man indulge himself, but let every man earnestly endeavor to bridle his tongue, (Jas 1:26.) First, let us speak of the sacred mysteries of God with the utmost reverence and sobriety; secondly, let us abstain from talkativeness, buffoonery, and vain jests, and much more from slanderous attacks; and, lastly, let us endeavor to have our speech seasoned with salt, (Col 4:6.)" --John Calvin (1509-1564)
What we see in 1 Sam 28:6 is what occurs many times in the Christian Church. Man seeking God the same God they rejected previously.
In 1 Sam 28:6 Saul is desperate he looking for help so he turns to God that he has rejected so many times before and expects God to bail him out of trouble.
Notice also that Saul did not persevere in this, but instead turned to a medium which God clearly forbid.
I believe this shows Saul was not seeking God because he thought God was his only answer but was seeking anyone that would bail him out of his situation.
So while it appears Saul inquired of God in fact all he was doing was running to anyone that might help. Anyone was good enough if they responded to him.
Too many today want God's help when things are upside down but when things are right they are too busy for God. And they get mad if God doesn't answer when they expect Him too, so they seek out mediums that say give to me and I will seek God for you. Then the medium lying says thus sayth the Lord and they people call them great men of God.
You can only inquire of God when you are in relationship with God! God will bring you into relationship but you must nourish that relationship to have one.
That is a very great blessing for our Lord to use such things. If He can use the donkey of Balaam, He can make use of other things of the same sort, we do not doubt.
I particularly am uncomfortable with images made of Christ, which we deem is a violation of the second commandment.
If you want to read an excellent book on prayer, one of the best is by Martin Luther. A very simple and very devotional book entitled, "A Simple Way to Pray." It can be found free online. It will be utterly different than the method advocated in the movie War Room. However, at the same time, it will be perfectly in line with how we are commanded to pray in the Word. That is crucial, lest we approach Him in the unsanctified fashion of Nadab and Abihu.
I am happy to hear that some have been saved from seeing some of the prophecy mongering films and books. The SDA often use this kind of eschatology as a hook to draw new members into their organization. The soteriology from that hermeneutic principle is worse than Pelagian, but the eschatology tends to turn peoples' tantalize the itching ears of the lost.
By the way, there is one other book that you might find both doctrinally sound and very pragmatic. It is the book by Bishop J. C. Ryle, "A Call to Prayer." It is even available by audio on YouTube in its entirety.
Sometime when you feel like just listening, I can highly recommend that book. It addresses the subject of prayer in very similar ways that you have mentioned.
God bless you, Justme. I am praying that God will continue to create a deep craving for Him in your heart, and that you will be satisfied in Him far more than you can imagine.