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Prayer – Does God Listen To Non-Christians?

A reader asks:

How does God hear the prayers of people who aren’t Christians? Growing up, I was taught that He only heard the prayers of His children, but I know that He hears the sinner’s prayer of salvation, so this can’t be entirely accurate. I know that pop culture would have us believe that anyone could and can turn to God at any time with a prayer and He will listen. What does the Bible say?

– – – – – – –

God hears the prayers of non-Christians when GOD CHOOSES to hear the prayers of non-Christians.

Unlike God’s children who have been PROMISED access to the Throne (Heb 4.16) and PROMISED the Spirit as an Intercessor (Rom 8.26), non-Christians have no such promise.  While not universally true, generally speaking God does not “hear” the prayers of the unrepentant.

Now, of course God does “hear” in the sense that He knows all, sees all, hears all. But He does not “hear” in the sense of accepting and answering… except when it pleases Him to do so and brings Him glory.

It is a generally true statement that God only hears the prayers of His children, but even then it is conditional:

Let me comment on two of your statements. First, Biblically speaking there is no “sinner’s prayer” that God is obliged to listen to. The “sinners prayer” has been an invention of the modern evangelism movement. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly nothing wrong with a sinner praying and asking God to save him.  But we need to be careful about instituting and accepting as “Biblical” things that have simply become tradition. The sinner’s prayer has developed from evangelistic methods, not from a Bible example or command.

Further, if a person has reached a point of praying for salvation, then God has already turned His face towards them and is actively involved in the process:

  • John 6.44 – No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (NKJV)

God has already drawn anyone who responds in faith, moreover, it is impossible to respond to God unless He has drawn that person to Himself.  So of course if God draws someone, He will be inclined and ready to hear and respond to any prayer of faith or repentance that is offered.

No one can turn to God “anytime, anywhere” and have God unconditionally be obligated to hear prayer, whether saved or unsaved. As well, God hears the prayers of the unsaved when it suits His purpose, pleases Him or glorifies Himself.

We must be careful not to ever box God in and say what He can and can’t do, will or won’t do… unless God Himself has specifically declared it in His Word.

What are your questions about Christianity, God or the Bible?

Enter your questions in the ongoing question list below and be sure to check out my book full of hundreds of questions and answers:

Eternal Investment… A Sure Thing

From Brent

If you’ve read our blogs for very long, you know our recommendations to “give” are rare. That is on purpose because we realize there is a never ending stream of blogs every day making appeals.

When I do put something out there for you, I want you to know 1) it’s worth your time to consider, and 2) I’m fully behind it myself.

Giving That Really Makes a Difference and Is Being Used Effectively

People long to give in ways that really make a difference for God’s work with humanity, something they can relate to and personally read about. A lot of giving today is for “more [resources, programs, options, facilities, entertainment, activities…]” for American Christians, and that’s okay because the Church has its work to do here as well.

However, there is something extra special about giving directly to frontline, hardcore, sacrificial ministry… knowing that your dollars are building up extra special heavenly treasure as you invest in ground zero ministry work.

Frontline Hardcore Ministry

For Christians, three of those areas are 1) sharing the Gospel (of course), 2) caring for orphans and 3) helping the poor. Bam, bam, bam… a hat trick of some of the most important ministry work we can either 1) do ourselves, or 2) invest in so that others can do it.

Many of us cannot or aren’t called to do this kind of work ourselves but every Christian is called to help in the support of it.

The Todd & Amy Block family (Building the Blocks) are pulling up roots and going to live, work, minister and sacrifice in an orphanage in the mountains of Guatemala. They will share the Gospel, help the poor, raise orphans and minister to spiritually need people.

Pure Spiritual Gold Investment

It is truly FRONT LINE, ground zero Christian ministry of the highest caliber. If you are looking for “pure spiritual gold” to invest in, a sure kingdom investment that will keep paying dividends for all eternity, there’s hardly a greater opportunity than this kind of work. Every penny goes straight to their effort, nothing wasted.

We are long time friends with the Block’s, having traveled to Guatemala together to adopt kids. We can personally vouch for their honesty, integrity and the frugal, integrity-saturated use of every penny you entrust to them for this work.

The Long Haul

We pray you’ll join us in supporting them. One time gifts are great but they aren’t going for a “visit”. They are going to live there and minister for the long haul. I rarely make such a direct appeal, but I encourage you to consider joining our family as we sign up for monthly support of the Block family orphanage ministry in Guatemala.

Caring for orphans, helping the poor, and sharing the Gospel… spiritual silver, diamonds and gold. We may be having an economic recession but the stock market for souls is soaring and open for business.

While we pray for substantial support gifts too, don’t underestimate your small monthly gifts of $10, 20 or 50 bucks. If we could get a couple of hundred folks to give one of those amounts monthly, we could make sure the Blocks don’t have the primary problem most missionaries have: spending most of their time trying to raise support rather than ministering and serving others in God’s name.

I’m going there right now after I post this to sign up our family. Won’t you join us? Click here to donate once or sign up for monthly support.

PS. Feel free to put this blog post on YOUR blog if you want…

The Sad State of Conservative Christianity

You have to wonder what Bible is being taught (or not taught) if the majority of evangelical Christians think just being a “good” person is enough to save you.

My own anecdotel evidence proves this to be true. I cannot COUNT the number of times I’ve heard professing Christians imply that someone was a “really good” person so they must be saved. What they are really saying is “I’m not going to take the unpopular stance of saying ‘they aren’t saved because they don’t profess Christ'”.  It invokes no wrath from the world to simply nod and say “they are such a good person” implying God will overlook about 80% of the Bible and what He wrote about sin, salvation and the truth about “good” people.

In fact, I’d like to believe that this is mostly a lack of courage and convenience. People just saying what is easier wanting to avoid criticism for being “narrow” and “judgmental”. However, I believe more and more that these statements come from pure Biblical ignorance after a couple of generations of watered down, therapeutic sermonettes.

I’m actually writing a novel about this whole topic of “I’m a good persons”. Yes, a novel. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, if the following article doesn’t bother you, perhaps you need to refresh your backbone about Biblical salvation, sin and man’s “goodness”.

Author: Most Evangelicals Believe Good People are Heaven-Bound

Fri, Dec. 17, 2010 Posted: 07:00 AM EDT

The majority of Protestants and evangelicals believe that good people and people of other religions can go to heaven, according to author David Campbell.

Campbell, who co-wrote American Grace, How Religion Divides and Unites Us, contends that surveys of 3,000 Americans, used to write the book, show that American people of faith, though devout, are very tolerant. So much so that most believers also believe that good people, despite their religious affiliation, can go to heaven.

Among the faiths, 83 percent of evangelical Protestants agreed that good people of other religions can go to heaven. Ninety percent of black Protestants also believe good people can go to heaven.

When prodded further, more than half – 54 percent – of evangelical Protestants said yes, people of religions other than Christianity can go to heaven. Sixty-two percent of black Protestants agreed with the statement.

Universalism is the theological doctrine that all people will eventually be saved despite a relationship with Christ.

He said this is especially true of youths because the messages from the pulpit have changed.

“I think the doctrine ‘In Christ alone’ … was emphasized more 25 years ago than it is today so young [people] are hearing about it less,” he revealed.

Stephanie Samuel
Christian Post Reporter

Ultimate Faith

When I read stories like the one below, I often wonder if I would have the same faith as this young girl. By accepting Christ, she KNEW she would most likely be beaten, rejected by all including mother and father, ridiculed, maybe tortured and face probable death. It’s not exactly a secret in “peace loving” Muslim countries that conversion to Christ never goes unpunished in varying degrees, often including imprisonment, poverty and death.

It does us (Western/American Christians) good to read and contemplate this kind of faith and sacrifice. I often hear back “oh, that’s too gory and awful. I can’t read something like that. You’re glorifying violence.” How naive. How insulting to both Christ and this young martyr. Christians should REGULARLY read the accounts of martyrdom in books like “Foxes Book of Martyrs” or on websites like Voice of the Martyrs.  You will find your faith strengthened, your hope increased and very importantly, it will sweep away the foolish mentality we have that “I’m American!” means we will never face the same kind of choice for Christ. News flash: Muslim theocracies, Communist dictatorships, Buddhist enforcers, atheistic regimes and countries governed by despots don’t give a royal red hiney that you are American and “have rights”.

As I watched “The Third Reich” documentary on the History Channel this week, so MANY parallels can be drawn from what happened as the Nazi’s came to power and leading to the eventual persecution of millions compared to EXACTLY what is happening in America today (political unrest, polarization of cultural groups, class warfare, the loss of heritage, the rejection of genuine Christianity, an entitlement mentality, hope in humanism, etc). I’ve been saying for a decade that the storm clouds of Christian persecution are boiling on the horizon. For those with their head up, the signs are ever clearer today. Head up, or head in the sand. Frankly, it’s easier to bury your head. After all, most of us my age will probably be dead and gone when the real persecution starts.  But who is warning the young generation of Christians of what they will face? Anyone?

I wish I could believe that my children and grandchildren will enjoy the same freedom to love Jesus Christ as I do now… but that would be the willing acceptance of a comfortable lie.  Coming to a country near you:

Somali Teenage Girl Shot to Death for Embracing Christ

Sat, Dec. 04, 2010 Posted: 05:23 PM EDT

NAIROBI, Kenya (CDN) – A 17-year-old girl in Somalia who converted to Christianity from Islam was shot to death last week in an apparent “honor killing,” area sources said.

Nurta Mohamed Farah, who had fled her village of Bardher, Gedo Region to Galgadud Region to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, died on Nov. 25. Area sources said they strongly suspected that the two unidentified men in Galgadud Region who shot her in the chest and head with a pistol were relatives or acting on their behest.

“Reports reached the relatives in Galgadud that Nurta Farah had converted to Christianity,” one source said. “The suspicion that the family is responsible is a solid one. The sister was killed in Abudwaq, a district in Galgadud Region, and the place where the incident took place is about 200 meters from where the sister was staying with relatives.”

Relatives buried Farah, sources said. Her parents had severely beaten her for leaving Islam and regularly shackled her to a tree at their home, Christian sources said. She had been confined to her home in Gedo region in southern Somalia since May 10, when her family found out that she had embraced Christianity, said a Christian leader who visited the area.

Her parents also took her to a doctor who prescribed medication for a “mental illness,” he said. Alarmed by her determination to keep her faith, her father, Hassan Kafi Ilmi, and mother, Hawo Godane Haf, decided she had gone crazy and forced her to take the prescribed medication, but it had no effect in swaying her from her faith, the source said.

Traditionally, he added, many Somalis believe the Quran cures the sick, especially the mentally ill, so the Islamic scripture was recited to her twice a week.

She had declined her family’s offer of forgiveness in exchange for renouncing Christianity, the source said. The confinement began after the medication and punishments failed.

Area Christians had reported that Farah was shackled to a tree by day and put in a small, dark room at night.

Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government generally did not enforce protection of religious freedom found in the Transitional Federal Charter, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2010 International Religious Freedom Report.

“Non-Muslims who practiced their religion openly faced occasional societal harassment,” the report stated. “Conversion from Islam to another religion was considered socially unacceptable. Those suspected of conversion faced harassment or even death from members of their community.”

Compass Direct News

Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Something From Nothing?

My reader friend Tom wrote and told me he’s never heard any evolutionist claim that “something spontaneously appeared from nothing, for no reason.”   What started out as replies to comments has some good teaching points so I thought would pull them up into a blog post. As Tom gets to know me, he’ll realize I’m not doing this prove I’m right, or attempt to beat him up publicly. Not at all.  When I have a useful dialog with someone who disagrees, it is a great way for people to listen in and learn.

Tom stated with certainty that I had no idea what I was talking about.I asked him to disprove what I was saying in this post about a comment from Stephen Hawking.  He replied back:

I’m not sure what you’d like me to disprove. I’ve never heard of anybody who claims that anything “spontaneously appeared from nothing, for no reason.” The Big Bang–as little as is currently knows about it or what caused it–was certainly not matter spontaneously appearing from nothing. Briefly, all matter in the universe was condensed into a very tiny spot before expanding rapidly.

I would never look down upon anybody who believes God had a divine hand in the formation of the universe. [I don’t like] when I see somebody mocking a man like Hawking with such folly and incredible misunderstanding.

I will not be able to completely explain it well here, so I can only suggest you find a book on the subject, perhaps Hawking’s latest.

I would disagree with Tom not “looking down” on those who believe in God because he stated outright I had no idea what I was talking about and pointed me to Hawking as a source of wisdom about our origins.  By the way, there is nothing MOCKING about my post on Hawking. It is factual and ends with empathy for the scientist.

Just because we forcefully disagree with someone doesn’t mean we are mocking them.  To the contrary, instead of my having an “incredible misunderstanding” about Hawking, I propose that I clearly see the real issue: a person who completely denies God has to resort to fantasy explanations for the origins of life and uses their GOD-GIVEN intellectual to create those fantasies.

Questions for Tom and those who believe like him:

Where did the “tiny spot” come from? It was “something”.  What are it’s origins? Did the tiny spot appear spontaneously from nothing for no reason? Was the tiny spot eternal? What CAUSED the tiny spot to expand rapidly? Pure chance? Even if true (and that doesn’t explain how the tiny spot came to exist unless we just accept without question it was eternal), how did a tiny spot of material matter become life, purpose, love, justice, music, joy, thought, creativeness? How did it make the insurmountable jump from lifeless material to living material? Then make the infinitely bigger jump from living material to thinking, rational, creative beings (humans)? Don’t say “read books about evolution” because they ever-changing theory and guesses based on no evidence, no proof and no logic… not “science”.

You only have three options regarding our origin:

  1. SomeONE existed eternally and created someTHING.
  2. Or someTHING existed eternally and created/organized more of itself.
  3. Or NOTHING existed eternally and SOMEthing was created spontaneously for no reason.

Can you think of another option?

Option three is absurd except to those who MUST deny God at all costs and will accept a fairy tale impossibility.  Option two makes dead material not only eternal but creative which is also absurd. Option one is perfectly logical and plausible but opens the door that we are probably accountable to that Creator, and not “gods” of our lives, or worse (?) not random, purposeless accidents.  It is for that reason man will look around at this magnificent creation that screams “THERE MUST BE  CREATOR” and still deny that obvious and unavoidable fact.

You don’t have to HEAR someone claim “spontaneously appeared from nothing, for no reason.”  It is the unavoidable logical conclusion that evolutionists pretend doesn’t exist (apparently its the one thing time and chance didn’t create).

Evolution is a fairy tale based on ONE THING: we MUST deny there is a God no matter how absurd and illogical our theories have to be about this universe, this life and the reason for our existence. Have you ever thought about that aspect? People are willing to believe ANYTHING, no matter how impossible, if it allows them to NOT consider God in the equation.  When you really consider the logical and unavoidable conclusions of evolution, it leaves you to accept as your reasons for existing nothing but an absurdity, an impossibility, indeed, a fairy tale.

Consider “origins”: something from nothing is impossible (a tiny spot is something). Something dead spontaneously becoming something living (even if it took billions of years) is impossible. Something living transforming into something entirely different (a protein into a creature; a creature into a plant; a plant into an animal; an animal into an entire different kind of animal; an animal into a human) is impossible, SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. It’s never been witnessed, never been replicated and there is ZERO evidence for it unless you choose to believe that artists drawings in books as evidence.  Yet people still believe it because the alternative is to consider a Creator.

In fact, it is MORE than impossible (if that’s possible) that animal life became human life by random time and chance. And yet, in order to deny God, the most intelligent men on Earth, like Hawking, will believe that fantasy to their eternal demise for one reason only: because they will not consider believing in God even though an eternal, personal, creative God is the most obvious and logical answer that fits all the evidence we have before us.

Tom points to Hawking to support his declaration that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Why would I even want to read any more Hawking (I’ve read tons of evolutionary teaching over 25 years)? He denies God. That makes everything he says or thinks automatically biased and skewed. That’s not science. He starts with a predetermined conclusion with no possibility of a Creator. That makes him, sadly, a fool, not a scientist, regardless of what the world labels him.

I appreciate Tom’s comments and especially the fact the he doesn’t hide behind a keyboard as a cowardly “anonymous” writer. My intention, as I hope Tom’s is also, is to simply think about and consider what is the Truth… even if that leads me to God or “time and chance”. I hope Tom will be open to both possibilities as well.

No Need For This Blog Anymore

Well folks, I guess I’ll have to go ahead and shut down

Stephen Hawking has ended all speculation about God with the following declaration backed up by his unimpeachable wisdom, supreme insight and unquestioned opinion:

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

Really? Where did the Law of Gravity come from? Spontaneous creation? And these kind of people like to say Christianity is “blind faith”?

So it’s blind faith to believe an eternal, personal God created the universe… but it’s “science” to believe the universe spontaneously appeared from nothing, for no reason because of a previously existing Law of Gravity (isn’t the existence of a law “something”?).  Now isn’t THAT something????

A statement like is yet another piece of evidence that the Bible really is God’s supernaturally delivered revelation predicting two thousand years ago that:

Romans 1:22–23 (NKJV) Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

I actually have great empathy for Hawking knowing that very soon he’ll stand before the God he denies and give account for the millions of people he deceived with his God-given brilliance.

What is the end result of this type of thinking? Read here…