Does God hear the prayers of an unbeliever?

Posted By on November 19, 2019


(music) – We need to begin by remembering
that God hears everything. He hears the sound of
every electron going around the nucleus of every atom in the universe. He hears every thought before
we think it, the Bible says. But the question really is,
does God hear the prayers of an unbeliever with a
view to answering them? When my daughter was little,
sometimes she would say, Dad, get me a drink of water. I’d say, I can’t hear you. Dad, get me a drink of water! I can’t hear you. Get me a drink of water, please. Okay, here you go. I could hear her, but I
could not hear with a view to answering until she asked rightly. Well, the Bible teaches
us that we have no basis of believing God would
ever hear our prayers. Though He hears everything. He wouldn’t hear with a view to answering, unless we come through
Jesus, who said of Himself, I am the way, the truth, the life. And if that weren’t enough, He said, and no one comes to the
Father but through me, and that includes not only
comes in relationship, but comes in prayer, because
in the book of Hebrews, we’re told that we may draw
into the presence of God through the veil that is His flesh, only by the blood of
Jesus, can we draw near. So, the only basis we have for
ever believing God would hear any of our prayers, is if
we come in Jesus’s name. And in Jesus’s name is not
just a phrase, tag phrase we add at the end, it means
we come in His righteousness. We come on the basis of who
we are in Him, not because we deserve our prayers to be heard. So, the bottom line is, we can give assurance to
someone that God will answer their prayers, only if they
come in and through Jesus, and even then, for those
who are in Christ, the Bible gives several conditions
for answered prayer. Therefore, we can give
no assurance to anyone who’s not a believer that God
will answer their prayers. In fact, there’s a verse
in Proverbs, Proverbs 15:8 which says, that the sacrifices,
which would have included prayers, the sacrifices of
the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, the strongest
possible term of hatred there. But the prayers of the
upright are His delight. So, when the wicked would
come, and bring sacrifices, should they bring sacrifices? Yes. Should they have prayed? Yes. But to do them without a relationship with God, God considers an abomination, even though they were
doing what was outwardly the right thing, it was an
abomination if they came, basically, in their own righteousness. So what this means in
real life, is for someone who is outside of Christ to
come and pray, and assume that God will hear them
because of their sincerity, or the depth of their need, or whatever, is the greatest possible offense to God. So I often present this
to people in the case of, imagine the most pitiful
scenario, you can conceive. The kind of situation that
makes the most hard-hearted atheist weep when they hear about it. Now imagine that person coming before God, and pleading that He would answer. For people to think, you
mean, this can break the heart of an atheist, and God is not touched? God would not answer? Oh, God’s heart is definitely touched. But to believe that we can earn a hearing with God, to believe that
God should answer us, because we are really sincere right now, or we have a temporary
humility, or temporarily, I don’t normally pray, but
Lord, I really need you now, would you answer this prayer? There is a sense, in
which God abominates that. On the one hand, His heart is touched. He is a merciful God, and He hears. But, for anyone to presume that they can come in
their own righteousness, and God will answer, is a gospel issue, because it implies, I don’t need Jesus, thank you very much. God sending Your son, to
give me access to You, oh, that was just a big
mistake, in my case. Is there any greater offense to God, than that He made a
mistake in sending Jesus? To think that I am righteous enough, I can be pitiful enough, I can be sincere enough
that God would be impressed, and hear my prayers, and
Jesus isn’t necessary? That’s why prayers made without
Jesus are an abomination to the Lord, because it strikes
at the heart of the gospel. There are people who are
unbelievers who would say, I don’t care what you say, I
know God answered my prayer. My child was dying, the
doctor said there was no hope, and I prayed, and I cried out to God, and He saved my child’s life, and I know God answered my prayers. Normally I don’t pray, it’s
true I’m not a dedicated follower of Jesus, but I
know He answered my prayers. I think biblically, the better
way to understand that is, God heard the prayers of
Christians praying for that child, or, in the providence of
God, that’s what He was going to do anyway, and their
prayers had no impact on the situation, because
there is nothing in the Bible we can offer to an unbeliever and says, and gives them assurance
God will answer prayer. There are a very few
occasions, most notably, Cornelius in the New Testament,
that people will bring up, and say, look, he was not a believer, and he prayed, and God sent
Peter, and preached the gospel, and he was saved. But when the angel comes
to Cornelius, it says, your prayers have ascended
as a memorial to God. Very unusual phrase, it doesn’t say God has
answered your prayers. And how did He answer the prayer? If He did, whatever
degree we can say He did, He sent Peter to preach the gospel. Cornelius needed the
gospel of Jesus Christ. So, in summary, God hears everything. But we can give no
assurance to any unbeliever that God will hear their
prayers outside of Jesus Christ. But how good is God, that through Jesus, He
welcomes our prayers, and anyone who will come
to Him through Jesus, He will receive them, and
He promises to hear us. (music) – [Narrator] Thanks for
watching Honest Answers. You can submit your questions by email, Twitter, or in the comment section below. (music) And don’t forget to subscribe
to find out the answer to next Wednesday’s question. (music)

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 67 comments

  1. I agree no unbeliever can be assured that God will answer him or her, as God’s children in good standing can be, but perhaps, as in Cornelius’ case, God hears and answers some prayers of some unbelievers in order to draw them to Himself – and perhaps these prayers of the pre-saved Elect are covered by Christ; after all, if God loved us while we were yet sinners, could that love not include hearing and answering prayers?

    As an anecdote, for whatever it’s worth, I have heard a testimony (true story) in which an atheist walking in a thunderstorm yelled up at the sky, “Is that all You’ve got? It will take more than that to make me believe in You!” And while at the time the atheist wasn’t really serious, later, after God convinced him of the gospel and saved him, he wondered if God had taken that “prayer” seriously.

    Again, this is no assurance to an unbeliever, just a thought about how God may work in the lives of the pre-saved.

    Reply
  2. The Southern Baptist Convention spent 150 years supporting slavery and segregation (apologizing finally in 1995) and in their "Nashville Statement" they are now claiming that you can't be a "christian" unless you despise and discriminate against gay people. Bailey Smith, one of their past presidents, declared that "God does not hear the prayer of a Jew." Now the evangelicals are claiming that whatever Trump has done, no matter how morally reprehensible, is OK because God forgives everything. They have lost all moral authority, if they ever had any.

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  3. God hears and answers all of our prayers. Only an arrogant evangelical christian would make such a ridiculous statement.

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  4. I have bad doubts of salvation and I keep asking God to help me believe or show me what im missing and similar things if im not saved but if im not saved will God answer that ? Because I have accepted Jesus as saviour and I know He is the son of God but im not sure if my part in it was genuine as in was it the Holy Spirit or was it my emotion or head knowledge im not sure what to do

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  5. And God loves to watch little children like your daughter as they are raped and tortured. They scream for help , but nothing.! Why is that silver haired man who speaks with such certainty!

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  6. The Lord says because of sin and a fallen world men can sin and their 3rd and 4 the generations down the line will suffer for that sin ! Ham sinned and his great grandson was under a blood curse because of it ! But things God does we can't understand but when things happen to kids and young people God uses those things to cause people to seek Him ! Because of things like this we feel pain and hurt and conviction for letting it happen and alot of times both the child and the parents seek out salvation in such terrible acts of evil ! This is a fallen world soon Jesus will take it completely over and Satan will have no reign anymore ! You can rest assured the person who hurts a child in any way and dies lost he will pay for eternity in eternal fire and toture ! No one will get away God is just and only through Jesus Christ and the conviction of the Holy Ghost can we find the truth in things the things of God ! You see you may not have even seeked out this video and you may have died in your sin but I pray you find the Lord and He opens your heart and you can see that God uses evil for His own good and we can't begin to understand how and why ! God bless my friend God loves you and He sent Jesus to be tortured and killed for u and your loved ones !

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  7. Acts 10:34-36
    Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

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  8. I need Gods help so much its starting to become unbearable . im often telling God I cant live up to his standards and that's critical regardless of what anyone says . Having victory over sin is on the person we are expected to have victory on our own with no help from God and that's the problem ,,many Christians love to say God helps ect but he actually in my expierence does not other than to say not to do it theres no tangible support offered by God

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  9. That first sentence was I all I needed in my search , ,he hears the movment of every atom , ,every cell in me screams gods will ,even though I'm owned by the devil unbaptised and feel we are all dammed ,I love love and God is love ,32years my heaven was everybody ,now I see no believers all I do is worry about my loved ones ,while the bad prevail an we good suffer ,I obsess on lake of fire wholeheartedly seeing no way out ,just the faith Jeshua saved us but never knowing till that day ,I am tempted to bleed and try the dark side but I will keep up the fight and do what I feel is right ,bless y'all folks

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  10. What a bloody silly question. Does Santa Clause read the letters you send? Why would someone who doesn't believe in Santa Clause send him a letter? The same applies to a non-existent god. Nobody is going to waste their time begging for something from an empty nothing.

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  11. BOSS, i think you are very illogical in your reasoning. First only 30% of the world population are Christians, so by saying unbelievers n this case you dont only mean the athiest but anyone else who dont believe in the bible meaning other religions too. All these make up 70% of the world population, does it mean your God doesnt care about them? they have no purpose in the universe. how do they survive without prayers?

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  12. Folks go to a Church of Christ .they don't use music in worship and I tell you this to make sure you find the correct Church of Christ. Listen to them and you wont have to deal with all this damned confusion.

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  13. but Jamaal saleems.what you mean just using God.as opposed to genuine submission.I don't think I'm saying this I hope I'm not.um in iscmaels case his name means God here's when some Muslims have asked God to reveal himself if he is real.like Jamaal saleem.

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  14. Yes!!! In some instances God answers even the prayer of an unbeliever, if he/ she is in quest of the true God, he answers them by revealing the truth. But God didn't answer the prayer of those people who r convinced that their idol or gods (which doesn't exist) is the true God and has no desire to seek the true living God. Because when they pray they pray in the name of their idols or gods, which God abhors the most.

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  15. God nothing to do with prayer. What is the name of earth that mean?

    First of all,

    Real God has create a very sophisticate system, known by science as nature's law system that can run the universe by themself, and affecting in seen or unseen things of all parts untill a tiny matter like quark.

    Prayer as unseen part of the universe's law system is included and not an exception.

    In the bible of Matthew 17:20, clearly give us the clue of how we can get the answer of a prayer and that wont be a God's Will.

    Thats all come from your true faith to make your own suggestion and your true effort to how to reach it. All of that offcourse, in the middle of the nature's law system.

    Real God will never made a contradictions for what He made, nor a mistake or revise and will be exact for ever. Thats why universe still exist today.

    Conclution,

    Jesus as a real God is the clue and science with developing of human knowledges is the key, including to understand about prayer.

    Both are the way to search, find and try to understand the Real God and His will.

    Amen.

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  16. The basis for answered prayer is FAITH. If you believe in God's ability and willingness to answer, your prayer would be answered.

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  17. I believe that providence of God or the goodness of God leads to repentance as states in Romans 2:4. However, in John 9:31 We know that God DOES NOT listen to SINNERS, but He will listen to the one who worships Him and does His will, him He hears. Just to name a few of God’s attributes as well as who He: He is Good, Mercifully, Faithful, Kind, Compassionate, Gentle, Holy, Pure, Righteous, and a Consuming Fire 🔥. The safest and best decision one can make is to believe that God sent His Son Jesus Christ in the for of flesh to die for the forgiveness of all our sins. And by doing that Jesus became that precious gift to us as. So the best thing to do is to believe accept that gift and like a life accept to the Holy Bible. Then one won’t need to worry if God will answer their prayers. God always answer prayers with a Yes, No, or Wait. Whatever the answer is it is ALWAYS to best answer.

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  18. I came before God at breaking point after falling away from Him in my youth and early twenties.. I repented and shared my hurt and sorrow and what I was in need of. He answered – He answered but I did not recognise it and carried on with my worldy ways living in sin. Until I call it a hiding.. Not that I was there yet and 2 or so years later born again. But He answered my prayer.. He was waiting for me.

    God is faithful and true.. Jesus Christ the way and the light and life.

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  19. My brother got converted to Islam from Christianity. Nothing enters inside his mind now. How can he again return to Christianity.?

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  20. Joh 9:31 Now we know that <b>God heareth not sinners</b>: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

    The word "hear" in Hebrew is Shema and means listen, obey Him and <i>after</i> you obey, God will give you understanding. Vines says the Greek word in "my sheep hear my voice…" also means "obey."

    "Naaseh V'Nishma" – Shemot 24:7
    https://www.ou.org/holidays/shavuot/naaseh_vnishma/

    If one does not obey he is an Antinomian (lawless one) to whom Jesus will say, "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity (a-nomos = antinomians = no law) I never knew you."

    The Antinomians are Coming
    http://www.bereanpublishers.com/Salvation_Issues/antinomians_are_coming.htm

    If you want your prayers answered, it starts with Repentance. God does not do anything until you turn (Teshuvah/repent).

    2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall (1) humble themselves, and (2) pray, and (3) seek my face, and (4) turn from their wicked ways; ***then will I hear from heaven***, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    I see obedience on every page of the Bible. That is not "works." Continuing in the Word and obeying him is our reasonable service and evidence that we love Him.

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  21. Pastor, I have a query. How then unbelievers are healed when we pray for them. I'm sure like me, many of the believers today are yesterday's unbelievers. God healed me in a healing service, even before declaring Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I remember asking in that service, if you are the true God heal me, even before I was saved…2 Chronicles 6:32, 33 says like this, "And as for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your great name and Your mighty hand and outstretched arm— when he comes and prays toward this house, may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You." I know a person from India, a businessman, still a hindu, every time he goes to Israel and submits his prayer request at the wailing wall, he prospers in his business…I, now as a christian who believes in His word, truly believe, yes, through Jesus Christ blessings or prayers will be answered…but the above said thoughts bewilders me 🙂

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  22. I believe(I repeat believe) 1 of 3 possibilities, that Cornelius’ prayer was answered because he desired to know Jesus OR he was devout when it came to the law so just like Paul God used that zeal to His glory OR God can draw anyone to Himself in any way He wants-even sinners FOR A GREATER PURPOSE as we see in Cornelius’ case where thru him many believed.
    I love this man’s teachings

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  23. to suggest the God does not hear a prayer is to limit God's ability to do anything. when will people stop trying to speak for God

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  24. There was a woman of the time that the church leaders and pastors
    The pastors of the time said that woman's a dog
    But she knew but even the dogs eat from the crumbs of the table

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  25. False teaching from the cemetery……God can interrupt a life and save them or save anyone who calls out. The work of the cross has opened the way for all to come. Many people without any knowledge of God get saved in their darkest deepest trial just by asking God to save them. The Apostle Paul is a great example of God interrupting a life.

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  26. John 9:31.. God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him ". Without faith it is impossible to please God.

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  27. I was an ex-JW and I was going to the kingdom hall when a angry German Shepard came towards me. I was dying of fear inside, I knew that the dog sensed it. It came up to me growling and his face was against my hand; I felt the dog's teeth. I prayed for that dog not to attack me. Our God Almighty, gracious Lord, spared me from that dog attack. I don't know what happened (now I know it was Jesus), the dog changed his mind and went away. If that is not God answering a prayer to a non-believer then I don't know what that is. I was going to a church that believe that the Father is the only way to salvation. I should of been attacked, but HIS GRACE saved me. Thank you Jesus!

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  28. "Behold, the LORDs hand is not shortened, That it cannot save. Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. 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 59:1-3.

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  29. The unbeliever doesn't pray because we do not believe in the invisible God up in the freezing vacuum of outer space to pray to.Instead of prayer we have hope.Big difference between prayer and hope.

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  30. God will hear all prayer of everybody but point is that how we receive answer to faith or spiritual or by situation and mainly you should have heart of understanding god love very simple

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  31. No,if he is a heathen which they're nothing to God or house of Jacob not doing God's laws, statues and commandments. Their prayers are a abomination to God.

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  32. Yes,because one of my biggest answered prayers was answered when I was still not saved! I was just very broken! He rains on the just and one the unjust!

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  33. Interesting comments but can you please share your definition of an 'unbeliever'? How about 'backslide' christians, they must be wondering if their prayers is acceptable?

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  34. Unbeliever here who knows god will never hear my prayers because he´s all bullshit and i don´t pray anyway, would be rather hypocritical of me if i did wouldn´t you think? OOPS! their that word that religion strongly dislikes "THINK".

    Heh heh religion is for adults what santa clause is for kids.

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