To borrow and paraphrase from St. James, Everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak… . This commends the lesson our Lord taught concerning prayer with these words:
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (John 15:7)
Herein lies the greatest reason for ‘unanswered’ prayer. Our weakness in receiving answer to our prayer is the result of our weakness in discipleship. We fail to feed on God’s word and to hide it in our hearts. Yes, God himself dwells within in the form of the Spirit but it is His Word that bring his voice to life. If we are building up a steady reserve of Scripture within ourselves, day after day, God’s will is no mystery and the answer to our prayers is crystal clear.
On the other hand, if our dialog with God sounds much like our own voice and will, we will find ourselves at a loss to understand the riches that He wants us to receive. It is impossible to pray correctly when we do not know the teachings of our Lord because it is also impossible to believe the right things. Meaningful prayer is preceded by deep discipleship. Feed daily on the Scriptures and God’s voice will ring out when you approach Him. Circumstances that had at one time seemed contrary to your prayers will make perfect sense as a deeper understanding of His will comes into your possession.