1. How could you misunderstand the Bible’s message about prayer by letting one or two passages in Scripture stand alone to the exclusion of all others?
We might read Matthew 7:7, John 14:14 or John 16:23-24 and assume God will give us anything we ask for in prayer.
Perhaps the most misused verse on prayer is one I didn't include in the Pieces Parts study--Matthew 21:22: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." While faith is involved in answered prayer, it is not the only element.
2. Combining the message of all of the verses, what does the Bible teach about prayer requests?
If any of these verses could stand alone, it would be John 5:14-15 that stipulates we ask “according to God’s will.” Asking in Christ’s name (John 14:14; John 16:23-24) is similar. It doesn’t mean God only answers prayers that use the words “in the name of Christ.” It means we ask with a respect for Christ, His purposes and power.
Other elements involved in answered prayer:
1. Coming to God as a sincere follower
John 15:7; John 15:16; 1 John 3:21-22
2. Asking with right motives
3. Asking with a clear conscience
1 John 3:21-22
My summary: The way we live our faith impacts our prayers. But the bottom line is this: God only answers prayers in accordance with His will.
Are these verses all we need to understand prayer? Of course not. They don't explain why God sometimes answers the prayers of ungodly people or why He doesn't answer some prayers that seem to be in line with His will. But other passages in Scripture address these issues. We need the full, complete, combined message of Scripture to understand prayer, not pieces parts. Nothing in life is worth studying as much as God's Word!