Prayer seems to be the easiest topic ever. The Scriptures are filled with examples of prayers, parables about prayer, and direct commands concerning prayers. Yet, if you ask people if they pray enough, the answer is oftentimes, "No." If prayer is so important, why do we have so much trouble finding time to pray?
Then there's the "God answered my prayers!" Which means things turned out the way I wanted. have you ever heard someone say, "God answered my prayers!" when they didn't get the prayed-for outcome? It's the "God is good!" syndrome when something good happens.
Also, why pray? If God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and all those other omnis, why pray? If God knows everything I need before I pray, what's the purpose?
The answer to the question concerning why don't we pray more is simple. His name is Satan. He convinces us that we don't have time. We have places to go, things to do, and people to see. And to pray would just take up time. I remember hearing my Dad say. "If you're too busy to pray, you're too busy." Satan knows that communication with God (prayer) is dangers (to him.) Who says you have to "stop and pray?" Nehemiah prayed in the middle of a conversation with the king (See Nehemiah 2). Did you drive in your car today? Why not turn the radio off and pray. Paul told us to pray continually. Including God in all your thoughts during the day is praying.
God does answer all of our prayers. Parents understand that you don't give your children everything they ask for. What parent does that? You son wakes up in the morning and says, "Dad, I think I want some candy to begin the day. Yes, that's it! Candy for breakfast." As a parent, you understand that eating sugar is bad for the teeth and could ultimately cause all kinds of health problems including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and a host of other problems. Do you go into a great explanation of why your son can't have candy for breakfast or do you just say, "No"? God doesn't have to explain everything. But He knows what is best for us and He tells us "No."
Finally, if God knows everything, why pray? Jim Cymbala in Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire said, I have discovered an astonishing truth. God is attracted to weakness. He can't resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need him."
I could go on an on. What about the model prayer in Matthew 6? How about Jesus' prayer in John 17? What about the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector? I think you get the picture. Let's just remember Paul's directive...."Pray continually."