This, in my opinion, is the #1 "secret" for getting your prayers answered by God the Father. Here is the Scripture verse that completely captures this principle.
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (John 15:7)
Look very, very carefully at this verse to see what Jesus is trying to tell you. He is giving you two main pieces of revelation in which to grasp if you want to be able to get God to answer more of your specific prayers. Here are the 2 main points.
1. Establish a Personal Relationship with God
The first part of the first sentence - "If you abide in Me" - is telling you that the first thing God wants from you in order to be able to properly approach Him for prayer is a personal relationship with Him!
Jesus is using the word "abide." What He wants from us is that we abide in Him, that we live in Him. This denotes a personal, in-depth love relationship with Him. The #1 reason God created humans was for intimate fellowship. He has this incredible love for us humans and He wants more than anything else that we approach Him and enter into this one on one personal relationship with Him.
If you really stop and think about this - what is the greatest joy that a person can have on this earth? What is the one thing that most humans long for? What is the one thing that makes you cry when you see this at the movie screens? It is the longing for a personal love relationship with a person of the opposite sex. The longing for a true soul mate. Why? Because that one person, more than any other person, is the one who can really get to know you. It is the one person who can become your best friend. It is the one person who you can tell anything and everything to.
It is the most unique of all human relationships. Some of you have found this "true love" and others have not. The ones who have this one true love in their lives know exactly what I am talking about. Those of you who do not have this true love in your life know the longing for this one special person.
This same longing that we have to meet that one true soul mate is the same longing that God has for us. Except with God, this longing for us is much more intense. The fact that He would send His one and only Son to physically die on a cross in order to get us back to Himself shows more than anything else how much He really does love us.
The best analogy that I can give you on this is the "best friend analogy." God wants to become your best friend - over your soul mate and over any other best friends you have. He wants to be #1 in your life and will not settle for anything less. The Bible says that God the Father is a "jealous God - a consuming fire." Some Christians believe if they go to church once a week, sing a few songs in church and pay their tithe, that they are "in relationship" with God. God wants more than this. He wants you 7 days of the week - not just one time a week in church. He wants to be able to freely commune with you any day and anytime of the week. He wants you to talk with Him just like you would with your best friend. He wants dynamic, free flowing conversation with you on anything you want to discuss with Him, no matter how small or trivial it may seem to you. And He wants you to be open to listening to anything that He may have to say to you.
What happens to a lot of Christians is that they have not established this kind of personal relationship with God and when a crisis or emergency presents itself, it is already too late to try to get God to answer your prayer.
Notice that Jesus starts the first sentence out with the word "IF." IF you have established a relationship with God, THEN you can approach Him with your prayer requests and THEN He will answer them.
Too many Christians attempt to "use" God. The only time they ever approach God is when they need something. God thus has no natural desire to answer any prayer request you may present before Him because you have not established any type of true personal relationship with Him.
One of the things that I feel like the Holy Spirit has conveyed to me is that if you really want to be able to get God to answer more of your prayers, you have to create a desire in Him to want to answer your prayer. And the #1 way that you create a desire in God for Him to want to answer any prayer request you may have is to establish a good personal one on one love relationship with Him.
The Parent-Child Analogy
The analogy the Holy Spirit gave me to understand all of this was the "Parent-Child Analogy." Imagine you have 2 small children. The one boy really loves you. He has established a true love relationship with you. He wants to "hang out" with you.
He comes and tells you everything that happened to him today. He tells you all the "little things" that may have gone right or wrong during the day. He values your opinion.
When he gets older and more mature, all of sudden he wants to hear about your problems. He wants to know more about you, your past, why you do what you do, why you think the way that you do, etc. This child is truly abiding in you, truly living in you. You feel like you and him are "one in spirit." As a result of this relationship, you can read each other minds and thoughts. As you grow older, the relationship deepens and keeps getting better and better.
Then you have the other child. He could care less about you and your personality. The only time he will ever approach you is when he needs something. He will even go as far as to "act" like he cares about you, but once he gets what he wants from you, he is back to ignoring you until the next time he needs something. As he grows older, you grow farther and farther apart. When he is finally able to leave home on his own, you never hear from him unless he really needs something from you. He hardly ever calls or comes over.
Now if you are the loving father over these 2 children, which of the two will you have a natural desire to help out when they need your help on something? You have no natural desire to help the one who has been "using" you all these years. However, with the child who has established a true love relationship with you, you will bend over backwards to give that child anything and everything that he needs. Why? Because he loves you for you! He doesn