Ps 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Sometimes it’s a matter of timing.
Ro 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Sometimes God knows our request isn’t what is best for us. This is usually because we are making requests outside His will. It is wonderful that the Spirit knows us better than we know ourselves and God knows not only our needs, but the needs of others and His own divine plan. Sometimes we are too weak to make the right request – whether weak in knowledge or wisdom or body or spirit or faith. Weakness is not a license to fail, rather it is insurance that we will remember to rely on the Holy Spirit instead of our own wisdom.
Jn 4:23-24 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. How we make petitions appears to be as important as why we petition. God already knows our hearts and our needs. He awaits our requests in expression of our faith. We need to come humbly, though, and say our prayers with the fullest honesty of our hearts, with an attitude of worship as well as faith.
Mt 21:21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. Doubt is the biggest reason prayers go unanswered.
This post is an excerpt (Question 6.3) from my book Ask James one.