Are your prayers always answered? Or do you wish God might be hearing you every time you pray?
Is prayer really a hit or miss way of communicating with God?
Contrary to what many Christians believe, there is not one prayer in the Bible that God ignored. Jesus said, whatever we ask of God in His name, we will receive.
Then why are so many prayers seemingly left unanswered? Why do most believers hope that God will hear them instead of having the absolute assurance that He will?
Both of these problems stem from lack of knowledge.
1.- Lack of knowledge about who God is
If God is a person you fear because you think He'll whack you on the head every time you do something wrong, you will not have the confidence of asking Him in faith.
And faithless prayers are not answered, it is only by faith that we can please God and believe that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him diligently.
2.- Lack of knowledge about His specific will for each of our lives
Prayers should always be done with the certainty of His will for our lives.
One of the most abused prayers is the "but may Your will be done" prayer. Some people pray that phrase ignorantly in any prayer they ever utter.
The only time that phrase was ever prayed in the Bible was when Jesus prayed it in Gethsemane. He knew the will of God, but He didn't want to obey it.
It was a prayer of consecration: a prayer that showed His willingness to ignore His own flesh and do the will of God instead of his own.
Jesus prayed this prayer three times that night and so should we pray it often throughout our day when we struggle with doing the will of God in our lives, like forgiving someone or showing love to our enemies.
3.- Lack of knowledge about how different prayers are to be prayed
Prayers are like ball games. They are all played with balls, but they have different rules. Just as you cannot play soccer with baseball rules, you cannot pray a prayer of faith with the guidelines of a prayer of consecration.
The prayer of faith must be preceded by Bible study. You have to be convinced that what you are asking for is really God's will and firmly believe it.
Once you are sure it is God's will for you to have what you ask, then you go before Him and ask, but only once (and please don't pray "but may Your will be done," like in the prayer of consecration, you already know God's will).
After that you just thank Him every time the issue comes up. You have already made your petition and now you know with all your heart that He will answer!