God answers prayers according to his will and purpose for us, for His Church, and for the world. John 14:13 limits the promise by saying, “So that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” The purpose of God’s answered prayer is to bring glory to Himself, to extend the reach and rule of His kingdom on earth.
As you and I pray, if our prayers are selfish and self-serving they will not be answered. If we pray, believing God should answer our prayer because we have served him x number of years or because we have done this or that for Him, we will receive no answer. If we pray thinking that God should answer without us we are mistaken as well.
Many times we pray asking God to help someone we know through a financial crisis. It is a mistake to believe that God will answer that request without us. If we pray asking God to grow His Church—He will certainly expect us to do our part.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to believe the old lie that, “God helps those who help themselves.” Because many of those people who decided to help themselves only hindered God’s work in their life. But I am saying that when you and I pray about something, God will use us. He will expect us to willingly pick up and do our part.
Here is the promise: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Here is the limit: “so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”