These thoughts come as a result of the happy outcome of the request for prayers over at The Anchoress.
How often do we hear people bemoan that they have prayed for something but that God did not respond? It seems we often take up prayer in much the same we we place an order at the take out window, expecting a specific response. There's the story of the man trapped on the roof of his house during a flood. He prays to God that he might be saved. Shortly, some men approach in a boat and offer his rescue. He says to them, "No thanks, God will rescue me."
Later a helicopter hovers overhead, offering a lift to safety, and again the man shoos them off saying. No thanks, God will rescue me." Finally, as the flood waters are about to engulf the very top of the roof and sweep the man away, the clouds part and a pure white light shines down on the man. "Oh God, my prayers are answered. You have come to rescue me." The Lord replies, "Actually no. I wanted to see why you refused the both the boat and the helicopter I sent in response to your plea."
The bottom line here is that God does answer our prayers, but not in the manner nor the response we expect.