I'm sure it goes without saying that every follower of Jesus, when praying, does so in the hope of seeing their prayer answered. But although there's no foolproof 'formula' through which every prayer we offer is answered in the way we would like, God does give us some guidelines to help us pray effectively.
Here are 10 of them which will hopefully be of help to us all...
We must abide in Christ – John 15:7
'If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you
wish and it will be done for you.'
We mustn't harbour sin in our hearts – Psalm 66:18
'If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.'
We must submit to God's will – 1 John 5:14
'This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And we know that if he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.'
We must have right motives – James 4:3
'You ask, and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend on your passions.'
We must exercise faith – Mark 11:24 & James 1:6
'Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be yours.' & 'Let them ask in faith with no doubting.'
We must approach God with reverence and humility – James 4:6
'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'
We must pray in the name of Jesus – John 14:13-14
'Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified
in the Son; if you ask anything in my name I will do it.'
We must be obeying His commandments – 1 John 3:22 & James 5:16
'...and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments.' & 'The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.'
We must be graciously forgiving others – Mark 11:25
'And whenever you stand praying forgive, if you have anything against anyone.'
We must pray with sincerity – Matthew 15:8
'These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'
It should be said however that even when we feel we've fulfilled all these conditions and still don't think our prayer has been answered, we need to remember that God is sovereign and His answers may not always be 'yes'. Sometimes they may be 'no' and much of the time they may be 'not yet'. We need to remember that delay is not denial. So let's keep praying. I suspect that God wants to hear from us more than we want to speak to Him!