Jesus said "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22) and it is repeated in the Gospel of Mark "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24)
This kind of prayer is obviously intercessionary prayer, praying on behalf of other people, praying for a change of events, praying for an outcome of some sort.
the difficulty is, as we all know, believers and heathen alike, prayers do not always get answered. Christians will often explain that God answers prayers in one of three ways: Yes, No, and Later.
Well, the "No" option is a direct contradiction of Jesus' promise. So Christians who are not getting their prayers answered will have to assume that either "Later" is in play, or, they did not have enough faith.
Others will explain that prayers will be answered, providing what is being asked for is in God's will. Well, if it is in His will, His plan, then it will come about anyway. It's His will. So there's no need to bother asking. And if it's not in His will, well again, no need to bother asking. Either way, no need to bother God.
Any ideas on how to resolve the many Biblical contradictions about prayer? Jesus tells us tio pray in private and secret so as not to be like the hypocrites, and yet in Paul's letter to Timothy, Chapter 2 entitled "Instructions on Worship" we are instructed: "I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer"
Paul also wants us to bother God in 1 Timothy 2:1 "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior" Wouldn't have done anyone any good in the Holocaust would it? Or perhaps not a single person in the world prayed during 1939-1945 with enough belief.