There is more failure in the prayer life than along any other line, for the simple reason that we start so many petitions and never wait for the answer; just keep sending them up and sending them up, without any real expectation of getting the answers back, until the muscles of our soul become flabby because we do not exercise our powers of receptivity. I would rather send one prayer up to the throne, backed by real faith, and get the answer back, than to send scores of petitions and never see the answers return.
How much better to ask God for fewer things and get the answers, than to injure our faith by weakening these powers of receptivity. How the Infinite heart must go out in pity and yearning to those who pray and pray, wait and wait, then weep and weep, because their prayers seem to be unheard and unanswered, and at last, broken-hearted and discouraged, they give up, thinking God does not care, when they themselves are breaking every law of faith that God has given them, and fail to find the very principle of faith so often minutely and definitely written for them in His Word.
What is the trouble? We act as if God is some hard-hearted autocrat, whose stubborn unwillingness we are compelled to overcome by much pleading, numerous prayers, long heart-broken petitions, and oft-repeated beggings, when the fact of the matter is He is trying to overcome our unbelief, and longs to give us the desire of our heart. But He cannot do the giving and the taking also.