Jesus Never Promises to Answer Prayers


This is a terrible rationalization for Jesus not appearing. Jesus absolutely does promise to answer our prayers. However, unlike the main premise of the GII website, there is no blanket promise to answer prayers in the affirmative. Last I checked, "NO" was a valid answer to queries.

However, GII wants to misuse Bible verses to somehow "prove" that God will answer all prayers in the affirmative. This is just not so. Let's look at the verses that supposedly promise an affirmative answer to each and every prayer.

First, there's Matthew 7:7-11, which is the famous "Ask, Seek, Knock" verse. If you examine the verses that immediately follow the "Ask, Seek, Knock" verse, you will notice that these are addressing physical needs, in this case food. That would fit with the earlier instructions of how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15, which only includes queries for things that are needed. It also fits with Matthew 6:25-34, which is Jesus promising that God will fulfill our needs.

So this verse isn't making a blanket promise to affirmatively answer each prayer. It is only promising to give us what we need to survive.

Matthew 17:20 is also being misused. Although the context doesn't place a limit on what is asked the way the "Ask, Seek, Knock" verse does, nonetheless there is an implied limitation. Moving mountains is a hyperbolic expression. At the risk of sounding just as pompous as the author of GII, I will say it anyway: any rational, intelligent human being can figure out that is meant as a figure of speech. Same applies to Matthew 21:21.

For Mark 11:24, again look at the context. We see the same figure of speech about moving the mountains, which means that Mark 11:24 is also hyperbolic.

John 14:12-14 contains the contextual limit within it, "that the Father may be glorified in the Son." I concluded in my answer to Proof #50 that Jesus making a personal appearance is likely to go unheeded due to the individual's paradigm. Only Christians would heed an appearance from Jesus. Therefore, Jesus appearing would not glorify the Father.

Matthew 18:19 applies only to church discipline, not to all prayers. See here for a fuller discussion of that.

Mark 9:23 and Luke 1:37 bolster the case that Jesus could appear, however as we have seen above, Jesus has no reason to appear.

I restate my position that it is a terrible, terrible rationalization for a Christian to respond that Jesus never promises to answer prayers when faced with the fact that Jesus doesn't make personal appearances in response to a prayer for one. Jesus does promise to answer prayer. However, nowhere in the Bible is an affirmative answer to prayer a lock. There is still room to deny the prayer.