Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. - 1 John 5:14
If you want to see your prayers answered in the affirmative, if you want God to say yes to your prayers more often, then you must pray according to the will of God.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He told them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Luke 11:2).
Sometimes God will answer our prayers differently than we thought He would. But we need to remember that the primary objective of prayer is to line up our will with the will of God. True praying is not overcoming God's reluctance; it is laying hold of His willingness. Prayer is not getting my will in heaven; it is getting God's will on earth.
The goal is to pray according to God's will, because 1 John 5:14 tells us, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."
Nothing is outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside of the will of God.
So here is how I pray. I pray for what I think is right, but then I always add, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done."
When you have lived for awhile, you begin to realize that God knows more than you, and you actually will thank God for unanswered prayers. With 20/20 hindsight, you will thank God that He said no to your prayers at an earlier time.
So don't ever be afraid to pray, "Your kingdom come. Your will be done. . . ." This is not a copout. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that you don't know everything, but God does-and God's will is better than your own.