Sol Wise eCourses welcomes you to consider

adapted from the book
Quiet Talks on Prayer
by S.D. Gordon, 1904
God's Pathway to Human Hearts 2

Answers to prayer are delayed, or denied, out of kindness, or, that more may be given, or, that a far larger purpose maybe served.

But deeper down by far than that is this:
God's purposes are being delayed; delayed because of our unwillingness to learn how to pray, or, our slowness - I almost said - our stupidity in learning.

It is a small matter that my prayer be answered, or unanswered; not small to me; everything perhaps to me; but small in proportion. It is a tremendous thing that God's purpose for a world is being held back through my lack.

The thought that prayer is getting things from God; chiefly that, is so small, pitiably small, and yet so common. The true conception understands that prayer is partnership with God in His planet-sized purposes, and includes the "all things" beside, as an important detail of the whole.

The real reason for the delay or failure lies simply in the difference between God's viewpoint and ours.
In our asking either we have not reached the wisdom that asks best, or, we have not reached the unselfishness that is willing to sacrifice a good thing, for a better, or the best; the unselfishness that is willing to sacrifice the smaller personal desire for the larger thing that affects the lives of many.

We learn best by pictures, and by stories which are pen or word pictures. This was Jesus' favourite method of teaching. There are in the Bible four great, striking instances of delayed, or qualified answers to prayer.

There are some others; but these stand out sharply, and perhaps include the main teachings of all. Probably all the instances of hindered prayer with which we are familiar will come under one of these. These four are
Moses' request to enter Canaan;
Hannah's prayer for a son;
Paul's thorn;
and Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane.