Is it right to say that a sinner cannot have relationship with God.
And only those that have relationship with God will have their prayers answered?
This is a complex issue and needs to be dealt with meticulously.
The Bible does say, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” John 9:31
What this means, is that God is not in Covenant with unsaved people, and so, is not under any obligation to hear and answer their prayers but this does not mean that He literally does not ever hear nor answer the prayers of sinners.
Of course not!
If that were the case, nobody would get saved because God would never hear a sinner’s prayer of repentance.
The Bible says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
The Bible also says, “Come on now, let’s discuss this!” says the LORD.
“Though your sins are bright red, they will become as white as snow.
Though they are dark red, they will become as white as wool. Isaiah 1:18
God encourages sinners to repent which involves praying and receiving an answer to that prayer.
Acts Chapter 10 gives a detailed record of one sinner’s interaction with God and his subsequent repentance before God.
The Bible says, “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and PRAYED continually to God.
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?”
And he said to him, “Your PRAYERS and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter.
He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.”
POINTS TO NOTE:
- Over the years Cornelius must have prayed for much, but God was primarily concerned with one thing… he and his family’s Salvation.
- Getting a sinner saved will always be God’s chief priority in answering any prayer from a sinner.
- That’s why when Peter came to Cornelius’ house he was focused on one thing… preaching salvation to him and his household.
As Christians, we need to be mindful that there are circumstances that will hinder even the prayers of those who are in Covenant with God.
The Bible says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:3
God will always hear your prayer as a Covenant Child of God but that does not mean you will always get the answer you want or when you want it.
The Bible says, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.
She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7
The Bible doesn’t specifically say so, but obviously this goes BOTH ways.
A woman cannot be disrespectful to her husband, giving place to the enemy and not expect opposition from that same enemy.
That’s what “giving place to the enemy” means… you give him the right to oppose you.
The Bible also says, “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6-7
As a Christian, God always hears your prayers but His response is based on your faith… not your prayers.
As an analogy, the purpose of your prayers is to transport your faith from Earth to Heaven.
It is is your faith God actually works with to create the answer you need.
Faith is the substance of what you’re hoping for.
In a practical sense, faith is simply trusting God above all else, to do what He promised.