In our understanding of prayer, I fear we take one finger of it and think we have the whole fist. Years ago, I heard a story about the well-known Indian Christian mystic Bakht Singh. As he and his associate walked many miles to a conference where he was to speak, a Hindu stopped Bakht Singh and challenged him. "We are in a drought, and you say that God answers prayer. If your God really exists, why don't you ask him right now to send us rain?" Bakht Singh is said to have responded, "If I pray for rain and God answers, will you become a follower or Jesus?" The man took on the dare and said that he would. As Bakht Singh was about to kneel down in the dust, his assistant placed his hand on his shoulder and said, "Do you really think you should be praying now, when we still have miles to walk and didn't bring our umbrellas with us? Why don't you wait until we reach our destination?
Read the book by Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us through the Events in Our Lives