14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. — 1 John 5:14, 15 NLT
I believe God has obligated Himself to answer every prayer that a Christian prays. I also believe that He does answer every prayer in one of four ways: Yes, No, Wait or gives a completely different answer than we expected and we don’t recognize the event(s) as the answer. It would be foolish to think that God would give a positive answer to any request that required Him to violate His own Word or to give us something that would not be the best for us. Just as parents, we realize that our kids often ask for things that aren’t good for them and we have to say “no”, how much better does our heavenly Father understand and know what is best for us. His great love for us requires Him to only give us His best. The words we use or the format of the prayer are not the important things. What is important is whether or not we have un-confessed sin in our lives. Sin separates us from God and moves us from His umbrella of protection. How much faith is required? I believe that if we have enough faith to ask God for something, that is enough faith. God has made precious promises to His children and He has never failed in doing exactly what He said He would do. The fulfillment of those promises is based on His faithfulness, not ours.
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? — Romans 8:32 NIV
30 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” — Mark 4:30-32 NLT
Earlier in this chapter, Jesus had told His disciples that they were permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. He also stated that there would be some who would hear and refuse to believe (outsiders) and they would not be able to understand His teachings in the parables that He used (Mark 4:11,12). So, if the disciples were permitted to understand the Kingdom of God, then so can we understand it. Jesus told Nicodemus to enter the Kingdom that it was necessary for him to be born again. So, we become a part of the Kingdom of God when we receive Christ as our Savior. In doing so, we become eligible for all the benefits of that Kingdom here and now, not just in the future. As the birds nest in the shade of the mustard tree, so we live under the umbrella of God’s protection now. Right now, it is a spiritual Kingdom inside of us. When Jesus comes back, He will establish a Kingdom here on earth that will encompass all of His creation and creatures except those that refuse to hear and believe (Daniel 2:44, Rev.11:15). We are preparing to live in that Kingdom in our present life and one day that process will be completed when we are changed into immortal beings (1 Cor 15:50-53). Jesus taught us to pray “may Your will be done on earth even as it is in heaven”. So, while we are preparing for eternity, we live with the assurance that the hope that we have will one day be fulfilled. And it will be so — His will “will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. That is why we end our prayers with “Amen” which means “let it be so”. Partially now and completely in the future.