How can I get God to answer my prayer tonight?
Imagine a small child coming up to you and telling you, "I'm going to make mommy give me candy." You might find it an amusing thought. Obviously this child doesn't understand who is in control. Or, there might be a passing sad sympathy for the parents of this child who have let things get out of hand.
Or how about the woman, Cindy Sheehan, who is demonstrating of late to "make" President Bush meet with her a second time. Have you thought of why she has been so unsuccessful despite all the media coverage?
The very question that you ask is of the same nature. It approaches the situation completely backwards. "You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures" (James 4:2-3). Prayers are petitions to God who created the universe and is the greatest power imaginable -- and then some. We should consider it a great blessing that God is even inclined to listen to the pleads of a single individual on a small planet in the vast universe. Yet, God tells us, "For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isaiah 57:15).
We can ask, but we must always recall that it is God who decides to answer, not us.