The Story of Your Life and Prayer
Paul Miller is helping me understand how God uses prayer in the context of the larger story of our lives. In the fourth part of his excellent book, A Praying Life, he explores the way our prayers, especially those that appear to be unanswered, integrate with God's purposes for us. For the couple of years or so, I've been praying around one specific theme in my life. It's driven simple requests for patience and love that God's answered by giving me opportunities to practice those virtues. However, it's also stimulated larger requests that have (frustratingly) remained unanswered. And I've struggled with that. Maybe you can relate.
But when I simply take a step back and reflect on the larger arc of my life, the requests that have remain unanswered give me a glimpse of what God wants to do in me, rather than around me. God isn't ignoring my requests because he doesn't love me. Instead, he leaves them unanswered because they don't fit in with the story he is weaving in my life. Maybe he's doing that in yours too.
If so, I highly recommend A Praying Life, it might help you get the same perspective I got.