Today I was reading in a little book by George Müller about prayer. For introduction purposes, Müller was a native of Prussia who founded many orphanages. He did this, without once asking for money from people, to show that God is faithful if you wait on him. He did not have the gift of faith (as he adamantly insisted). Rather, he saw promises in Scripture, loved the Lord and His glory, and trusted what He said. The result was God meeting every need in ways that could not have been imagined.
Müller wanted to be an example to people, by the grace of God, to show that God is trustworthy. It grieved him that so many brothers and sisters lived the way they did simply because they did not trust God in prayer. They thought that somehow God was different from than in the Bible and that he really wouldn't help them in these "modern" times. But Müller was resolved to show that "He does not forsake, even in our day, those who rely upon him."
In considering undertaking the task of founding orphanages, he saw a very big opportunity, and a very big trial before him - especially in refusing to ask for money and having none himself. But I found great encouragement in what he said in regards to how we pray and receive answer for prayer. He says, "I felt bound to be the servant of the church of God in the same way through which I had obtained mercy: namely, in being able to take God by His Word and to rely upon it." In other words, we pray and receive answers in a like manner as to being saved - resting on God alone. It is his mercy and grace alone - not our eloquent words, not our structured prayers, not our prayer meetings, not us getting out of bed early in the morning or anything in ourselves. Just as we rest in salvation on the Cross of Christ, so we rest in and come in prayer before the throne with the Cross of Christ.
George also reminds us to be constantly praying for an increase in faith. It is a good gift that comes down from the Father (James 1:17). He gives some directives, along with prayer, that will aid you –
1. Regularly read and meditate on the Word of God. “For, through reading the Word of God, and especially through meditation on the Word of God, the believe becomes more acquainted with the nature and character of God…Therefore, in poverty, affliction of body, bereavement in his family, difficulty in his service, or lack of employment, he will rest upon the ability og God to help him, because he has not only learned from God’s Word that He is of almighty power and infinite wisdom, but he has also seen instance upon instance in the Holy Scriptures in which His almighty power and infinite wisdom have been actually exercised in helping and delivering His people.”
2. Strive to keep yourself from sin and have a clean conscience. “How can I possibly continue to ask with faith in God concerning anything if I am habitually grieving Him and seeking to detract from the glory and honor of Him in whom I profess to trust, and upon Him whom I profess to depend?
3. Lastly, do not shrink from opportunities where your faith will be put to the test and you will be stretched. Know that God will never lay on you more than you can bear (1 Cor 10:13). Everything, especially trials of faith, are given to benefit you. Remember the hymn, “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, my grace all-sufficient shall by thy supply. The flames shall not harm thee, I only desire thy droves [longings] to consume and thy gold to refine.” Müller reminds us, “Wherever God has given faith, it has been given, among other reasons, for the very purpose of being tried.”
There's more, but for sake of time, I'll just recommend the book - "Release the Power of Prayer" by George Müller.