Summary: Every prayer of every Christian, offered in the name of Jesus, will be answered...but the answer may not always be "YES".
THANKFUL FOR ANSWERED PRAYER
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6.
Prayer is a privilege that God has given us. Prayer should be defined as "talking with God", not merely "talking to God". Every prayer of every child of God, offered in the name of Jesus, will be answered.
I. THANKFUL WHEN THE ANSWER IS YES!
"Then he said to Jesus, ’Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ’Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:42-43.
"Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church." Acts 12:5.
II. THANKFUL WHEN THE ANSWER IS YES, BUT NOT NOW!
"And another angel stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:3-4.
The scene is in heaven where the prayers of the saints through the ages, asking God to punish evil, lay on the altar seemingly unheard. The rest of chapter eight tells us that God, in His own time, granted their request.
III. THANKFUL WHEN THE ANSWER IS NO!
"And Elijah was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, ’It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers." I Kings 19:3-4.
Elijah was greatly used by God in the years following. God had planned for Elijah a far more glorious exit from this life than for him to die alone under a juniper tree in the desert. Consider: "…behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated Elijah from Elisha. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." II Kings 2:11.
When Paul asked God to remove "the thorn" in his flesh, God said "No, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness." Paul’s response to the "No" answer from God was: "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me." II Corinthians 12:9.