Can unbelievers pray to God? Are there examples in scripture of God answering the prayers of unbelievers?
There are no examples we know of in scripture of unbelieving men or women praying to God and being heard. On the other hand, we do find examples of unbelievers who interact with God (in some form) like Cain – who knew of God but who lacked faith in God’s promises. These interactions are merely evidence of James’ comments regarding the acknowledgment of God but absent faith:
James 2:19 (NKJV)
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
Nevertheless, the Bible states plainly that the “prayers” (i.e., petitions) of the unbelieving world are not heard by God, because unless we approach the throne of God by way of Jesus, we have no access to the Father: prayers of unbelievers
Proverbs 15:29 (NKJV)
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
Psalm 34:15-17 (NKJV)
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
Proverbs 15:8 (NKJV)
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
Psalm 138:6 (NKJV)
6 Though the Lord is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.
John 14:6 (NKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
1 Timothy 2 (NKJV)
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
These scriptures and others testify that no one may pray to (or approach) the Father except in the name of Jesus. Therefore, those who do not know Christ cannot be heard since they do not approach the Father through the Son. This is the plain teaching of the Bible. prayers of unbelievers
Secondly, the Bible says that men and women are born enemies of God because of the sin they inherited from Adam, but by faith in Christ we are adopted as children of God:
Ephesians 1:5 (NKJV)
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
Romans 8:14-17 (NKJV)
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. ]prayers of unbelievers
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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