Lately I've been thinking about prayer, and specifically about the kind of prayer in which we ask God to help us with something specific. Are there kinds of requests that God never grants? I'm trying to think of a Biblical basis on which we would know the answer to that, and I think the main basis we have is the nature of God.
When two of Jesus' disciples suggested calling down fire from heaven on certain sinners, Jesus said no. It is similar to the time when Sarah, Abraham's wife, asked for God's judgment on Abraham. The ancients noted that Sarah died first, and saw that as a caution that whoever called down judgment would be judged first. (I wonder whether Jesus' first listeners would have thought of Abraham and Sarah that when Jesus taught, "Judge not, lest you be judged.")
I think most Christians do not pray to win the lottery, and maybe not for sports team victories, since that is seen nearly as an insult to the holiness of prayer. Back in my student days, I remember that there was a kind of prayer etiquette among Christian students about what we might pray for concerning tests: we would pray for calmness or focus, but not for an undeserved score.
Any thoughts on what kinds of requests God would not grant just on principle?