Let us be honest, sometimes (in fact most of the time) we go to God in prayer seeking very specific answers from Him. We acknowledge that He is sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient then ask Him to answer our requests in the way we want or He can forget it. Some of us go the extra mile to set time limits, name places and times for Him. Now if you have walked with God for any significant length of time (and if you are a newbie, newsflash!!!), you know He does not always answer like we expect Him to.
The fact that God moved a certain way in your life last year does not mean He will do the same this year when you find yourself in that same situation. I am not saying God is uncertain or unpredictable. In fact He is the one certain or sure person you can hold on to as you journey through life. You can be certain of His love, you can be certain that He will not forsake you, you can be certain that He has no bad intentions toward you.
It is also because of His love for you, His good nature that He always does not tell us what we want to hear or does not answer our prayers as we expect. He knows you and I better than we know ourselves; He knows that if He were to give you what you are asking for it will not make you as happy as you think you will be.
The three Hebrew boys faced death by fire heated seven times hotter, for brazenly refusing to bow to the golden image as commanded by king Nebuchadnezzar. Questioned by a furious king they stood their ground and said, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Dan. 3:17.
Their "even if" statement has always intrigued me. Their prayer was that God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, in fact they believed He would but at the same time acknowledged that God might not answer them the way they expected. Not because God is a wicked God, far from it but because they knew that God would only do what was best. What they realized was that what they thought was best, in their limited human knowledge, may not be what God considered as best.
Usually someone will ask me to pray for him or pray with her for a specific answer. I start praying and the Holy Spirit will lead me in a totally different direction. The hardest part is telling the person that what he is asking for is not what God wants for him.
It is important that when we pray we ask the Holy Spirit to direct our prayers so we do not pray amiss-out of line with God's will for us. Sometimes the flesh gets in the way of our requests and then frustration sets in when we do not receive what we ask for.
The answer may not always be what we want but calling God our father means trusting that He knows what is best for us at any particular time.