In one or two verses in the New Testament, we are told that whatever we pray to God for (and ask in the name of Christ), we will receive.
I take that at face value. Of course, it more often than not hasn’t worked. I pray, pray, pray for things in the name of Christ and believe, but don’t receive.
One annoying tendency I see of some pastors, Christians, Biblical studies, etc. is to say you cannot take the Bible at face value.
I’m pretty sure I saw a footnote in a study Bible that said when Christ said whatever you pray for in His name He will do that He did not “really” mean it, or he did not really mean to say “anything.” The Bible footnote in the study area of that Bible said Christ was referring to only spreading the Gospel message. However, I don’t see anything in the context that indicates that.
I get that we shouldn’t play “gotcha” games with the Bible, like cranky atheists do (the ones who spend every free moment online trying to debate Christians or who compile lists of supposed Bible contradictions), but, on the other hand, when Christ makes comments such as, “whatever you ask for in my name I or the Father will do,” how many different ways can a person reasonably be expected to interpret that?
If Christ says “anything” I think He meant “anything” unless someone who is an expert at koine Greek can tell me the English word for “anything” has been translated from the Greek original that really means “anything as in only anything in pertaining to spreading the Gospel.”
I’m frustrated. I was told for years, and sincerely believed, if I prayed to God in Christ’s name for something, or for help, that I would receive the thing or help I was asking for. But that has not been the case.
I was led to believe this from reading the Bible and from listening to pastors and other Christians tell me if I just prayed long and hard enough and had enough faith, God would more than likely grant whatever petition I had. That has not been so.
(Link): Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God (May 2017)