You ask but do not receive, because you ask with impure motives, so that you may waste it on your pleasures. (James 4:3)
Delight yourself in Yahweh, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
God’s allowance isn’t necessarily His gift. Just because God lets you have what you want, that doesn’t mean He wants you to keep it. God may let you have what you want to teach you a lesson. In other words, by reaping the consequences of seeking what isn’t best for you, you will see that haste makes waste, and waiting on God is always best. God will give you the desires of your heart, but only on the condition that you delight yourself in Him. That won’t happen unless you listen for His voice, seek His wisdom, and commit yourself to walking in obedience to all that He commands.
Delighting ourselves in the Father isn’t as much about outward appearances as it is about what’s going on in the heart. Therefore, take care in how you judge what you see, for not all is what it appears to be. There are many who appear to be serving God, while only serving themselves. They know how to talk a good talk, and put on a good show; but behind closed doors, they’re a different person than what they portray in the open (see Isaiah 29:13).
Those who delight themselves in God take what He gives and give what He takes. They put Him first and foremost in everything, esteeming His thoughts above their own. Because of that, their prayers will be answered; for they ask according to the Father’s will. “And this is the confidence we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us; and if we know that He hears us, we know that we will receive what we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
If your prayers aren’t being answered, that doesn’t mean God is failing to do His part to make good on His promises. It could be that your desires aren’t in agreement with what He delights in. However, if your desires are in agreement with His will, then you need to be more patient in waiting on Him. Remember, God always gives us what’s best for the moment; He doesn’t put it all on us at once. We probably wouldn’t be able to handle it if He did, for we might use what we have received for something other than what God intends.
Don’t take anything in life for granted, but foster an attitude of gratitude. And don’t just praise God for answered prayer; praise Him while you’re waiting for an answer.