Why is so much prayer not answered?

There certainly seems to be much more unanswered prayer loosed off into heaven today than there was two thousand years ago.
It is everyone’s experience that some things or people we pray for are not resolved. We have to choose between at least three possible reactions to this truth.
Firstly, we can simply ignore the apparent drop in prayer ‘productivity’ since the days of the New Testament and keep on hoping, as we pray for those for whom we care when they are in trouble.
But some of us then start to feel that we have no real reason to suppose, if we continue praying tomorrow in the same way that we did yesterday, that anything will be any different.
Secondly, we can be tempted to conclude that Jesus is somehow unreliable nowadays.
Be warned! Those who take that tack are worshipping a different Jesus than the one who is depicted in the Gospels.
Warning bells should be ringing.
Thirdly, and more optimistically, we can set out to discover what we have lost and how to retrieve it! So what have we lost?
We have probably wrapped up all our past prayer ‘failure’ as being something to do with the mystery of it all. We either ignore past ‘failure’ of prayer or develop complex theology to excuse it.
Either way, we have, by and large, given up all effort to grasp the simple clarity of the gospel message about the kingdom.
In fact, miracles are not mysterious in the way that many people think. They are not to be thought of as very exceptional divine acts bestowed in reaction to powerful praying; rather, they are, by God’s grace, always available from him.
The point is that we need to soak expectantly in the river of mercy that flows constantly from heaven. The New Testament repeatedly tells us that Jesus and the apostles performed miracles, including many healings. It seems to have been ‘naturally’ supernatural Christian living.
In contrast, our expectancy of God to help (of which we only need a mustard seed) is all but gone.
Some people do not receive God’s healing grace except by persistent believing prayer. Lack of persistence and boldness is part of the answer to our question.
In many Western cultures we have also lost our humility over matters of receiving grace.
We are cynical about the reality of the things that Christ has won for us on the cross, and our minds are filled with the knowledge and memories of abuses, culturally unacceptable ministry styles and failed attempts of our own in the past.
All this has to be laid down, freeing us to come, and come again, to the living Lord who heals all our diseases.
We can build nothing on the mixed experience of the Church down the centuries since Jesus’ ministry on earth. We can only build reliably on Jesus Christ.