Hi, I posted the following on a similar thread: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=12704595#post12704595
Perhaps there is an assumption behind these verses that the people praying have wills fully conformed to God’s:
The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide: God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments, but it is now my own will, based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself. Then self-abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 :23-28). -Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
(James 4:2-3 ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
(1 John 5.14)
and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
1 John 3.22
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
(1 Peter 4:7 ESV)
Although of course it appears that what you have requested is within God’s will–such as praying that we love God more. In which case, I agree with your assessment that when the prayer will be fulfilled is not always immediately–which gives the impression that the prayer is being rejected or ignored.
Or perhaps that atheist on the thread above is right, and prayer is a useless and self-deceptive enterprise.