We shouldn't do this.
But we do.
We sometimes do it with the people we love. They say something. We in turn get offended (that is a choice, people). And a fight begins....but it would have never started if we had given the ones we love the benefit of the doubt, the chance to speak; to share and explain their words.
We also do it with God and His Word. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says, "Ask and it will be given. Seek and it will be found. Knock and the door will be opened to you."
He also says in John 14:13 that whatever we ask Him in prayer in His name He will do.
So how come we Christians explain these verses away in those times when our prayers aren't answered the way we want them to be? How come we take the power out of them by saying things like, "Well, I guess it wasn't God's will" or "He doesn't mean we can ask for anything...."
Jesus says what He means and He means what He says. The problem isn't in the verse. The problem is in us.
Author and preacher Andrew Murray has written many books on prayer that are astounding. The study I am doing right now by Jennifer Kennedy Dean is also quite good. She writes something in the study that speaks volumes about scripture and prayer. She writes:
every promise (is) linked to a relationship requirement.
Think on that.
We wouldn't expect to go up to someone else's father and ask for something only a father would give. We shouldn't expect to go up to our own earthly father and expect something we know will harm us.
Prayer is all about relationship -- relationship with Abba Father, relationship with Jesus Christ, relationship with Holy Spirit. It is a ongoing communication with God and us. It is not about what we want. It is about His will.
We need to get to the place where we can honestly say, "Not my will, but Your Will be done."