In our day prayer is cheap. Can we click to forward a prayer request from the internet to the throne of God? Does a prayer wheel get the job done? Can we hire the righteous to make prayers vicariously? Does a recorded prayer work? Is there a number of repetitions required (like votes) to get the attention of God?
We have been taught God is always listening, He will grant our every desire (no limits like with Aladdin), and "all we have to do is believe." Friends, this is not true. Nothing adds to the rolls of atheism like unanswered prayer requests.
The disciples noticed something different about Jesus' prayers. First, they never heard Jesus say, "Father would you just . . ." Secondly, the prayers of Jesus were effective and obedient.
A servant, a son, does not petition without obtaining instruction, i.e. the will of God. In many cases, however, it is our will; not God's that is sought. Which leads to exactly the result described in the Scriptures - you ask and receive not because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.
There must be a better way. Jesus teach us to pray.
63: Jesus Discusses Prayer
Once, when Jesus had been praying, one of his disciples said to him:
“Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
“When ye pray, say:
‘Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so in earth.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins;
For we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil.’”
Then Jesus told this story to his disciples, saying:
“Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves. For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him’? And he from within shall answer and say, ‘Trouble me not; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.’ I say unto you, “Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.’ And I say unto you, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.’ For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”