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Does God Answer The Prayers Of Unbelievers?

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#1
Tinky

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I was on the GTY website and came across this:


Does God Answers The Prayers Of Unbelievers?



God is sovereign and can choose to answer any prayer He sees fit. But Scripture clearly indicates that God does not listen to or answer every prayer. In fact, Scripture gives at least fifteen reasons for unanswered prayer. God does not answer the prayer of those:

1) Who have personal and selfish motives.


You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures (James 4:3).


2) Who regard iniquity in their hearts.


If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18).


3) Who remain in sin.


But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear (Isaiah 59:2). Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him (John 9:31).



4) Who offer unworthy service to God.


"You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled You?' In that you say, 'The table of the LORD is to be despised.' But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts. "But now will you not entreat God's favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.


5) Who forsake God.


Thus says the Lord to this people: "Thus they have loved to wander; They have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, And punish their sins." Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence (Jeremiah 14:10-12).


6) Who reject God's call.


Because I [Wisdom] have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke.... Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me (Proverbs 1:24-25, 28).


7) Who will not heed God's law.


One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination (Proverbs 28:9). "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen," says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 7:11-13).


8) Who turn a deaf ear to the cry of the poor.


Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, Will also cry himself and not be heard. (Proverbs 21:13).


9) Who are violent.


When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood (Isaiah 1:15; see also 59:2-3).


10) Who worship idols.


Therefore thus says the Lord: "Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal. So do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble." (Jeremiah 11:11-14; see also Ezekiel 8:15-18).


11) Who have no faith.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7).



12) Who are living in hypocrisy.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).


13) Who are proud of heart.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).


14) Who are self-righteous.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess." And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 18:11-14).


15) Who mistreat God's people.

You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them (Psalm 18:40-41).You who hate good and love evil; Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones; Who also eat the flesh of My people, Flay their skin from them, Break their bones, And chop them in pieces, Like meat for the pot, Like flesh in the caldron. Then they will cry to the Lord, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds (Micah 3:2-4).


So, does God answer the prayers of unbelievers? A strict yes or no answer is difficult without qualifying the answer in various ways. However, it is noteworthy that the above mentioned principles represent some of the key characteristics of an unbeliever. Thus we can safely say that, in general, God does not answer the prayers of an unbeliever.


http://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA160


I'm pretty convinced God doesn't answer an unbelievers prayer - except a prayer of repentance.

What do you guys think?

#2
BlessedByTheBest

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John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


there can be no communication with the Father if not by and through the Son, Jesus Christ. through Him and only Him, one is enabled and spiritually positioned to boldly approach the Throne of Grace.
God is sovereign, and by His providence He will draw near to those who hear the the Gospel of Christ and are convicted of their sins.

but outside of seeking fellowship with God on His terms, vain prayers of the ungodly seeking deliverance from oppression do not reach the Throne.
this is because they are not seeking the throne, they are only seeking relief. perhaps their afflictions are in place in order to bring them to that cross, but they are blinded by the enemy of our souls.

Job 35:12There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.
Job 35:13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.

but most of the verses shared in the article apply to the vain prayers of Israel and the Church in a state of sin(ignorantly or unrepentant).

#3
Tinky

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outside of seeking fellowship with God on His terms, vain prayers of the ungodly seeking deliverance from oppression do not reach the Throne. this is because they are not seeking the throne, they are only seeking relief.




Great point. Evidence for that is when relief does come, they quickly forget about God.

#4
FresnoJoe

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I'm pretty convinced God doesn't answer an unbelievers prayer - except a prayer of repentance.

What do you guys think?


Beats

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. Joel 2:32

Me

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

#5
shiloh357

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Here is my question. Jesus fulfilled the requests of the Syro-Phonecian woman who asked Him to heal her daughter. He healed the servant of the Centurion when the Centurion asked Him to. In the book of Acts, Cornelius, a partial proselyte to the Jewish religion was praying at the prescribed Minkha (afternoon) prayer time and was visited by an agnel of God and was told that God had heard his prayers. None of these people were "believers" in the way we are using that word, here. None of them except Cornelius are recorded as having ever become believers and they were all Gentiles, to boot.

I don't think God listens to the prayers of those who are lawless who try to use prayer to own their wicked purposes.

But consider the following scenario: A young set of parents have a newborn that is sick and in intensive care. Neither are believers, but cry out to God for help to save their newborn's life. Do you think God turns a deaf ear? I mean if we sinful people could not help but be touched and would do anything we could to save a child's life, why would God not be touched as well? I am not saying that God is under any obligation to heal the baby, but do you think he turns a deaf ear to that request? And, if He were to heal that baby, might not it be possible that such an act of goodness on His part contribute to this young couple coming to repentance? If not, why not?

#6
Matthitjah

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I think that God responds to the cry's of anyone with a sincere heart despite their position. In fact, He uses their position and His Grace to bring them closer to Himself.

#7
silviawang

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as a believer,how many prayers GOD has answered you?
and how diffcult you get the answer from GOD?
-----
my experience:
GOD has answered almost all my prayers,but times and times again ,there was the most terrible faith trial,2 times,i even at the edge of death!

#8
gdemoss

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God began answering my prayers long before I became a believer. Take that for what you will.

#9
other one

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as a believer,how many prayers GOD has answered you?
and how diffcult you get the answer from GOD?
-----
my experience:
GOD has answered almost all my prayers,but times and times again ,there was the most terrible faith trial,2 times,i even at the edge of death!


I lost count of the answered prayers a long time ago..... I am not sure what you mean by that second question sometimes I get really difficult when the answer is no LoL
but I don't think that's what you meant. early in my life I was not very patient and was troubled by some of the lapses between praying and getting either results or answers.

#10
silviawang

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I lost count of the answered prayers a long time ago..... I am not sure what you mean by that second question sometimes I get really difficult when the answer is no LoL
but I don't think that's what you meant. early in my life I was not very patient and was troubled by some of the lapses between praying and getting either results or answers.

i have been the Christian for 10 years,GOD almost answered all my prayers,but in my memory,there were only 2 times I got the answer without anytrial and delay,and others ,almost every prayer , GOD gave me reverse answer at the initial time,and after the looooong waiting ,sometimes the most
terrible faith trial,at last GOD gave me the good result and bless,and still some prayers GOD totally rejected me,but also after the most
terrible faith trial,GOD show me that my will is wrong,he has the better and right way
-------i have the BIBLE,i have the experience how to walk and work with GOD,i believe in GOD

#11
silviawang

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the bigger event,the more terrible trial,and the biggest,related to all my life,for getting the answer i sacrificed lots,but after 10mouths waiting in fire,GOD absolutely rejected me,i even want to Suicide at that time,after i finished my Suicide planning,i gave my final prayer,
and suddenly he answered me in the miracle way,and saved my life,i said to GOD:Abraham sacrificed his son and i sacrificed myself,and you save my life just as you save Isaac

#12
NeedYouLord

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John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


there can be no communication with the Father if not by and through the Son, Jesus Christ. through Him and only Him, one is enabled and spiritually positioned to boldly approach the Throne of Grace.
God is sovereign, and by His providence He will draw near to those who hear the the Gospel of Christ and are convicted of their sins.

but outside of seeking fellowship with God on His terms, vain prayers of the ungodly seeking deliverance from oppression do not reach the Throne.
this is because they are not seeking the throne, they are only seeking relief. perhaps their afflictions are in place in order to bring them to that cross, but they are blinded by the enemy of our souls.

Job 35:12There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.
Job 35:13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.

but most of the verses shared in the article apply to the vain prayers of Israel and the Church in a state of sin(ignorantly or unrepentant).


O God...Thank You For Saving us...

Pretty sure I've testified to this before but at 19 years old; I was standing out in the middle of a dirt road...drunk...wondering why I was born...asking God why He never answered my prayers...Mind you, I had been saved from drowning twice in my life...ummm...had been to church Vacation Bible School at 11 or 12 years of age...and that was it-as far as church went..

I totally agree that God hears the prayer of a repentant heart...He sure did mine...Oh dear it was bad...

One verse that particularly stood out and was like a revelation to me...was John 9:31 "Now we know that God does not hear sinners: but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him."

I know this is in the context of the Pharissees being amazed that Jesus had opened the man born blind-opened his eyes...for me-and God knowing the journey that it would take for me...I went after not being a sinner and being changed By The Healer...Jesus...My my...I need all the verses...but I also needed God to hear me...Whew...

Love In Him, Kathy

#13
bopeep1909

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I think that God does answer our prayers.Maybe not the way we want Him to but what His plan is for our lives.He answers our prayers for what we need not always what we want.He blesses some with alot and some do not get what they think they deserve.I think that God not only has a plan on this Earth for us but He also has a plan in Heaven for us.Maybe what is happening our this Earth to us has something to do with the plans He has for us in Heaven.
No,I do not think that God answers the prayers of the unbelievers except for repentance.

#14
WIP

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John 9:31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.

#15
shiloh357

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John 9:31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.


I would be careful about which verses you use to to make a doctrine out of. Those words were not spoken by Jesus. They were not even spoken by one the disciples. It was an assumption made by a Jewish man who had just been healed by Jesus and he made that statement to the Jewish leaders who were questioning him about his healing. This not a statement offered by Scripture as a teaching about God, but is simply this man's beliefs based on his upbringing in Judaism. The Bible correctly records his words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That does not mean that his words are necessarily doctrinally correct.

One is hard pressed to explain why Cornelius's prayers in Acts were heard BEFORE he became a believer if one is to assert that God doesn't hear the prayers of unbelievers.

#16
Sevenseas

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I believe God does answer the prayers of unbelievers. I was not saved when God answered my first prayer. I asked Jesus into my heart right after the answer, I was 5.

It was a child's prayer....and was actually a bit of a challenge...but God answered immediately in the affirmative and caused something to happen that showed me He is real.

Simple. God knows our hearts and why we pray and what is in our hearts when we pray....saved, or not.

#17
bopeep1909

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I believe God does answer the prayers of unbelievers. I was not saved when God answered my first prayer. I asked Jesus into my heart right after the answer, I was 5.

It was a child's prayer....and was actually a bit of a challenge...but God answered immediately in the affirmative and caused something to happen that showed me He is real.

Simple. God knows our hearts and why we pray and what is in our hearts when we pray....saved, or not.


That was a prayer of repentance and salvation and that is why He answered it.If someone is an unbeliever I don't know why they would pray.

#18
WIP

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John 9:31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.


I would be careful about which verses you use to to make a doctrine out of. Those words were not spoken by Jesus. They were not even spoken by one the disciples. It was an assumption made by a Jewish man who had just been healed by Jesus and he made that statement to the Jewish leaders who were questioning him about his healing. This not a statement offered by Scripture as a teaching about God, but is simply this man's beliefs based on his upbringing in Judaism. The Bible correctly records his words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That does not mean that his words are necessarily doctrinally correct.

One is hard pressed to explain why Cornelius's prayers in Acts were heard BEFORE he became a believer if one is to assert that God doesn't hear the prayers of unbelievers.

The only prayer that He hears from an unbeliever is the prayer of repentance, prayer is a privilege of the believer. The Lord hears His children who have been made righteous through the Lord Jesus. Sin separates the unbeliever from the Father and He will not hear them. There are exceptions in scripture as we all know ,just as the thief on the cross was not baptised and yet went to paradise with the Lord...Lazarus died twice, while scripture tells us "it is appointed for man to die once and so on. There are exceptions.
One cannot come to the Father except through His Son.

1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

#19
Sevenseas

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I believe God does answer the prayers of unbelievers. I was not saved when God answered my first prayer. I asked Jesus into my heart right after the answer, I was 5.

It was a child's prayer....and was actually a bit of a challenge...but God answered immediately in the affirmative and caused something to happen that showed me He is real.

Simple. God knows our hearts and why we pray and what is in our hearts when we pray....saved, or not.


That was a prayer of repentance and salvation and that is why He answered it.If someone is an unbeliever I don't know why they would pray.


No, BoPeep...there was no prayer of repentance. I was 5 years old and had never heard that word. I asked God to do something to show me He was real. I had never heard
of God before Sunday School and I did not know He was real. He immediately answered my prayer by doing what I asked of Him. I immediately asked Jesus to be my Savior
as I had heard in Sunday School.

No one mentioned repentance in that church...they didn't even teach it and certainly not to 5 year olds.


You cannot repent if you do not even know what sin is. I was not saved when I prayed. I was saved ONLY AFTER God answered me.

At any rate, there are scriptures provided in this thread that indicate God does hear and answer those who are not saved.

This, is not debatable. It is simply fact. I cannot change the order of what happened. It might not fit into some people's theology, but God often does not fit into some people's theology either.

I am surprised that some people believe God does not hear prayers from regular Joes....of course He does! He is God...He hears it all....whether He answers or not, is at HIS discretion.

Interestingly, there are prayers from Christians that God will NOT hear. For the same reason He does not hear the prayers of those who reject Him. The NT admonishes believers
who do not pray with the right attitude or Christians who ask amiss. God ALWAYS looks at our heart...motives...many believers seem to have the attitude that God is a dispensing
machine.

Romans 10 say to "call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved." So unbelievers can call out to God.

Jesus christ said the tax collector prayed: "Lord have mercy on me a sinner" such a prayer God heard.


#20
gdemoss

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God answers prayer of anyone who is seeking him. They do not have to believe in the bible. They do not have to know Jesus Christ. They simply have to have enough faith that God exists that they would call out unto him in prayer for help. Even then God led them to do such.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that God has a cookie cutter system of doing things that requires that a person first hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ before they can begin to have a relationship with the God who created them. This is a grave error and will keep you from being useful unto God in bringing others to Christ.

In 2002 life was difficult for me at best. I was told that God was my answer. I was told that I could forsake any preconceived ideas of who or what God was as long as I honestly wanted to know and understand God. That I could call upon him as God and expect him to develop a relationship with me as Creator/creature. I was to simply pray and watch.

In 2003 I had major life events come to pass. I had been praying and watching for 6 months. The next year would see God directly answer several prayer requests. He would provide $10,000 with no commitment to repay one cent. He would move obstacles that stood in my way so that I could be free.

Over the next few years I built a solid relationship with him through prayer followed by watching. I built a firm understanding of Gods sovereignty in human affairs.

On January 24th 2008, God sent a man to me to talk to me about Jesus. I was convinced over the next two days that God finally decided that I was ready to be introduced to him by name.

Psa 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Many of us believe some really stupid stuff about God because we presume to truly understand him when we do not. I include myself in this as I have often been guilty.

If we understand what "God is Love" means, then we will surely understand more about the who, what, where, when and why of God's answered prayers.

Peace is only in Christ.




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