And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. - Hebrews 11:6
God rewards faith. Christianity started with the faith of Abraham. Faith means that we do not see to believe. So, praying is an act of faith. When we pray, we are acknowledging that God exists and listens even though we do not see Him. God rewards our faith by answering our prayers.
I have noticed that when I first came to Christ, He answered my prayers pretty quickly. It was as if I was in "obedience school" and He wanted to reward my good behavior of including Him. As I grew in my faith, I next noticed that God answered some prayers quickly but other prayers, He did not answer at all. He was then training me to learn how to pray and ask for certain things differently. When I studied the Word to see God's heart on the matter or asked God to clarify my motives of why I was asking, He would answer those prayers as well as what I asked.
Now, after having walked with the Lord for many years, my prayer life has changed again. I have more of a conversational prayer life than an "ask and believe and receive" prayer life. Now, I talk with the Lord about my requests. I ask Him to reveal His heart to me about the matter and I wait to see if there is any change in my heart as I also search the Scriptures to hear His heart. The requests themselves have now become smaller in comparison to the relationship of talking and listening and learning from Him. There is no request or unanswered prayer that becomes more important than my ongoing relationship with Him. So my faith is rewarded in a completely different way than answered prayer; my faith is rewarded by enjoying His presence in the process.
God is good. Learn to seek Him in faith. It starts with prayer requests and continues until you are praying without ceasing. You will not be disappointed. How could we ever be more satisfied than with the very presence of God Himself?
~Daily Disciples Devotional~