Does God Answer All Prayers? (NIV)
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We often hear people say that they “Pray every day,” “I will be praying for you,” “I pray for this … I pray for that.” Does God hear every prayer that an individual says? Do you think God will answer the prayer requests of someone who is not a Christian? Will God answer their prayers?
Do You Have a Link to God?
The Bible is clear that God hears and answers the prayers of those who have turned to Him in repentance and put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As believing Christians, we have been introduced to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, and He will not only hear our prayers—He will answer them, too.
God’s Word says to each believer that we can kneel before Him in prayer (before His heavenly throne) and boldly ask Him for help: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Is Your Prayer in Line With God’s Will?
However, our prayers must be connected to God’s perfect will (Matthew 26:35). Sometimes God’s answer to our prayers is “No,” and at other times His answer may be different than what we have asked for, because He knows what we need and when we need it much better than we do. What we want and what God wants for us may not be the same at a certain time.
When our prayers are in line with God’s will, we can “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10). Also, in Psalm 34:17 God says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” God wants His people (Christian believers) to pour out their hearts to Him, for God is our refuge: our place of safety and our hiding place of protection (Psalm 62:8).
Are Your Prayers Being Hindered?
In Matthew 6:12,14-15, Jesus makes it quite clear that the prayers of a Christian may be hindered by their attitudes and actions: “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” So, a Christian believer who is living in sin or doesn’t forgive others, has their prayers blocked (or unheard) because they are out of fellowship with the Father. They will never lose their saving relationship with God, but continual sin will affect their fellowship.
If God’s children continue to be knowingly disobedient, they must then understand that God is not going to grant their request since they are not doing what He asks them to do. God will never answer the prayer of a Christian while they have sin in their heart that has not been repented of: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18).
Are Your Prayers Even Being Heard?
All our lives we have been taught, in one way or another, to pray to God. As a child we said prayers before our meals, to give thanks: “God is great, God is good ….” We said prayers at bedtime for God to bless us and watch over us while we slept: “Now I lay me down to sleep ….” And we said prayers for other reasons like sickness, protection, or maybe traveling on vacation.
When we become older, we take it for granted that all we have to do is throw a prayer out there and God will hear it automatically. But can someone who is not a believing Christian expect God to hear and answer their prayers? “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” (1 Peter 3:12).
The Bible clearly states that while believers have had their sins forgiven, and have access to God the Father, those who are not Christians are separated from God by their sins (Isaiah 59:2). If you have refused to turn to God, read what God has to say in Proverbs 1:25-33: “Since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke … I will not answer.”
A Prayer That God Always Hears
God will always hear the prayer of a non-Christian when, with a repentant heart, they ask God to forgive them for their sins and make them part of His family. This is the one and only time that God will always hear and listen to the prayer of a non-Christian. If you are ready to turn to God with all your heart, you can know for sure that your prayers make it to His ears and that He will answer you.
Psalm 17:6 gives you the reassurance that you need if you become a child of His that He will hear and He will answer your prayers: “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” All you have to do is admit that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness. Turn from following your own way, and believe that Jesus Christ is the One and only way. He died for your sins and was raised from the dead: “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:9).
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved…. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9,13).