A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was filled with compassion. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. (Mark 1:40-42 NIV)
Ask Jesus if he is willing first.
Not to remind Jesus that it's his choice, but to remind ourselves.
All of us have taken Jesus for granted at some point or another. And some of us have even began demanding things from him. There's no excuse for that. And when you start demanding things from God, that's when you get yourself into trouble. 2 Kings 1:9-15 is an awesome example.
"Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, "O man of God, the king says, 'Come down.'" But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, "O man of God, this is the king's order, 'Come down quickly!'" But Elijah answered them, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, "O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight." Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So he arose and went down with him to the king." (2 Kings 1:9-15 ESV)
In case you have absolutely no idea what you just read, the king of Israel at that time sent a captain with fifty men to go get Elijah. But Elijah was scared. He didn't want to go. And from my interpretation of it, God allowed those first 100 men to die because they were so prideful. They thought they could go up and demand Elijah, the man of God, to come down; when in reality, they weren't worthy of Elijah or what God had to say through him.
All they knew was that their king wanted Elijah to come down, and he needed to get his butt down there. And guess what? That attitude got them burned up.
But look at the last captain. He fell on his knees before Elijah and begged him to place value on his, and his soldier's lives. He didn't come to him, yelling "come down here Elijah! This is what the king says!" He came before Elijah, on his knees, with a humble heart. Just like the man with leprosy did with Jesus, thousands of years later. That's how we should be with God.
The man with leprosy asked if Jesus was willing before making his request. I wonder what would've happened if he demanded that Jesus heal him instead.
Maybe that could be what's keeping your prayers from being answered. Making Jesus your Lord means that you answer to him, not him answering to you. And your prayers should reflect that.