Evangelical leader, Billy Graham is asked the question: "When God doesn’t answer our prayers, is it because he’s testing our faith to see whether it’s genuine?" Graham answers: "When God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want him to, our reaction often shows just how strong (or weak) our faith is."
But the questioner wasn't asking Graham why God doesn't answer prayers the way he wants him too, but why his prayers go answered. Graham is doing his best to explain away why God isn't answering the prayers. How does Graham's answer fare against the New Testament:
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. - Matthew 21:22That seems pretty definitive. Nowhere do the writers of Matt state that prayer is sometimes answered, or not answered just to test your faith. The bible is unequivocal. Whatever you ask, you shall receive.
However, Graham doesn't fully answer the question in his response. He supplies Hebrew 4:16, stating that prayer will help "find grace to help us in our time of need." And what if the prayer is done in a time of need? For instance, your mother is dying of a horrible cancer and you pray to God to ease the pain before she dies. You realize that asking for perfect health is too much of a request from God, so instead you ask for no pain during the dying process. Your mother dies painfully anyway after countless prayers.
In no way was your request made selfishly. Grahams assertion that "often what we think is best for us isn’t really best, and God says no to our prayer" doesn't answer why the prayer went unheeded. If the bible's word about prayer holds any validity, the core concept of this Christian practice is just bunkum.
As aside, Graham also informs the questioner that "Christ sits at the Father’s right hand in heaven."
This is a comical suggestion. Jesus is supposed to be God. We are to believe that he is simultaneously sitting at his own right hand? Absurd.
As absurd as the notion of Jesus sitting at his own right hand, so is prayer. Unanswered prayers, any unanswered prayer disproves the notion of God taking requests if the bible is too be trusted.