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DOES GOD HEAR THE PRAYERS OF ALL PEOPLE? ...OR ONLY THE PRAYERS OF THOSE WHO ARE HIS CHILDREN THROUGH JESUS?



Posted: 05/04/07

Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?
...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?

Does God hear the prayers of all people?

It's an important question. Since the tragedy of 911 and most recently the terrible, insane massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech, all kinds of prayer gatherings have taken place with representatives from virtually all major religions in the world today. There is an equilateral tone to whom God is and how we approach Him--prayer being the most easily demonstrative. Even nonbelievers may say out of sympathy or condolence for others, "our thoughts and prayers go with you" or "we are praying for you."

The first Thrusday of May is the National Day of Prayer sanctioned by the government and has been practiced as early as 1775 that "designated a time for prayer in forming a new nation." Is heaven pleased with this kind of national acknowledgement? Does it accomplish anything for the kingdom of God? Is it biblically sanctioned? And can it bring glory to God if the prayers are not offered through Jesus Christ our Lord?

What say you? Does God hear the prayers of all people of all religions?

Before you answer, read these revealing words:
"For what is the hope of the godless when he is cut off, when God requires his life? Will God hear his cry, when distress comes upon him? Will he take delight in the Almighty; will he call on God at all times?" (Job 27:8-10).

"The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous" (Proverbs 15:29).

"We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, He hears him" (John 9:31).

Conclusion:
Only the prayers of His own children through Jesus Christ our Lord, will the He ever hear (except the prayer of any sinner crying out for mercy and repentance to be saved from sin through the hearing of the gospel and the conviction of the Holy Spirit).
Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com

By Steve Camp

Click here for bio and archived articles

Disclaimer: Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the feedback button.

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READER FEEDBACK


Re: Re: Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/15/07 10:44:12 AM Age 40, CA
Cornelius was an O.T. Saint, like all the previous saints, e.g. John the Baptist, David, Moses, Abraham, etc., etc.), who had been saved by God's grace. The only difference between Cornelius and the O.T. Saints was that Cornelius was able to receive the Gospel before he died. The O.T. Saints received the Gospel in the Hell (the Bosom of Abraham) when Jesus descended to preach to them, emptied the Bosom of Abraham, and took them to Heaven.



Re: Re: Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/15/07 10:33:53 AM Age 40, CA
God gave the Old Testament saints the same faith He gives us to believe in Him and to trust in Him. Two differences: 1) God gave them the faith to believe in the coming Christ, but God gave us the faith to believe in the Christ that came in the past. 2) The Holy Spirit either was WITH them or was in them only when God used them to carry out His task (e.g. writing Scripture, prophesying...). What proof is there that Abraham had the same Faith (which is a gift from God) that we have? Rom 4:16, "Therefore, the promise comes by FAITH, so that it may be by GRACE and may be GUARANTEED to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all." And in Romans 13, "It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith." The Old Testament, God's CHOSEN people were amongst the Israelites. In the New Testament, God's CHOSEN people are amongst the Gentiles (all creation). Further proof that the O.T. saints were saved as we were: Jesus went to the Bosom of Abraham (a part of hell that was not a place of torment but a holding place of peace of God's saints who had died) until Jesus' death and resurrection. At this time, they were allowed to enter Heaven.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/15/07 10:12:38 AM Age 40, CA
God opened their minds and hearts in order to receive the Gospel. Example? Acts 16:14, Paul is on a missionary journey and stops in Philipi where a lady by the name of Lydia hears Paul's Gospel and believes. HOWEVER, read closely: "...the Lord opened her heart to heed the things [Gospel] spoken by Paul." The prophet Ezekiel spoke of this type of grace of God (dealing with hearts prior to salvation) in 36:25--27, "I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean...I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you, I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you heart of flesh...I will put my Spirit in you and CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, and you WILL do them." God even grants repentance, example? 2 TIM 2:26, "...if God, perhaps will grant them repentance...that they may escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will."



Re: Gen 17:18-20
Posted On: 05/14/07 09:04:45 AM Age 46, MO
Brother: I said I wouldn't write again but I wanted to say that we have no disagreement. You came from the left (and threw more curve balls at the arguement than what was warranted) and I came from the right, but in the end we are talking about the same thing. Case in point; we now both agree that God did not answer Abraham's will but fulfilled His purpose with Ishmael. Not because Abraham prayed but because of His purpose and soveriegnty. It's all about God's purpose and our obedience to His will. I think we also agree that God's purpose moves us and His HS guides us but we choose to act. Remember; Steve's premise was that God does not hear the unsaved. Our premise is that not a sparrow falls, that God does not know, God will do His will. Put simply, God works thru his people not in spite of his people. Not that he can't, but that our response to God's love is obedience. Let's face it, the walls of Jericko could have fallen inspite of the foot trench God's people created, but God allowed His people to have a part in the victory. I don't know, maybe Steve's article was poorly written which caused the confusion but I really think that he expoused a "systematic theory" that he was taught, without giving it much thought. John

Re: Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/13/07 10:39:19 AM Age 52, FL
I forgot one other person. I hope I can add this on. The woman at the well He started out talking to her about living water and never thirsting again. Jesus told her of her sin how she had 5 husbands and the one she was living with was not her husband. But He never once spoke to her of damnation and hell. It's necessary, yes for people to know their sinful state but I also believe we have to use wisdom.



Re: Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/13/07 10:12:41 AM Age 52, FL
Do you remember Cornelius? Acts 10. He was a centurion, a devout man and feared God. He was not a Christian. An angel of God came and told him his prayers had gone up as a memorial offering. God sent Peter to teach him about Jesus. Tell me how people in the Old Testament like David and Samuel sought God the way they did. They were unregenerate. No, in the flesh there is no good thing. But I have spoken to many people of different faiths. I DO believe they seek God - they just need someone to guide them (in love) to the truth.

Gen 17:18-20
Posted On: 05/11/07 11:26:59 PM Age 40, CA
Hello again. I haven't checked my schedule, which changes too often, regarding Victorville, but provide me with some more information and I will follow up. Now, to endulge in Scripture, first, allow me to clear some smoke. I think I assumed in error that the underlying theme here is Man's will verses God's will in Salvation, because if God can hear the prayer of an unregenerated person, then what follows is that the gift of salvation is dependent on man's will and without this "decision" a man will perish in hell. I hope this explains why I wrote about ES and Calvinism. And by the way, regarding your comment about God being a puppeteer: we are not puppets, but God does influence us to do what we do. Does a reasonable woman choose her husband without him charming her or "influencing" her to marry him? Of course not. Although we read in Philippians 2:13, "Philippians 2:13 "For it is God who moves us to will and to do for His good pleasure." God does not move us like puppets, but he does reveal His intense love that fits perfectly in the void of man's heart created by Adam, which according to 2 COR 5:14, when this love enters a person's heart, he or she is compelled or constrained or controlled by it -- it reads, "...for the love of Christ compels us..." This love of Christ that is revealed to us when His life enters our heart influences us to receive Him as our Lord and Savior. That same love of Christ influences us to do God's will. I do not understand why, to some people, this is hard to accept. Now, in reference to your interpretation of Luke: your explanation that Jesus used Abraham's name instead of God's because Abraham was the Jew's faith father is quite an irrational stretch because in verse 23, we read that the when the rich man was in hell, "...HE LOOKED UP AND SAW ABRAHAM far away, with Lazarus by his side." This proves that Jesus used Abraham's name for no other reason other than because, quite simply, the rich man "looked up and saw Abraham." But regardless of this, I'm not arguing that God CAN'T hear a sinner's prayer. What I'm arguing is that He doesn't grant requests made by a sinner for the sake of the sinner, but ONLY if doing so contributes to a task that He wishes to accomplish, solely for HIS purpose. For example, if a sinner asks God for a miracle, and this miracle will not benefit God's Kingdom (e.g. as a demonstration of God's power to His children, to teach His children something, etc.), but will only benefit the sinner, God will not perform the miracle. Now, regarding your claim that I failed to read verse 19, I didn't fail to read it. In fact, you failed to read the following verse 20, where God accommodates Abraham's request: it reads, "And as for Ishmael, I HAVE HEARD YOU. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exeedingly..." God HEARD ABRAHAM REGARDING Ishmael's life, and God said that He would bless Ishmael before Hagar's prayer. Why? Because from Ishmael came the enemies of Israel, who God would use as instruments to fulfill His will. Lastly, in addition to the evidence I've provided, how can you ignore Isaiah 59:2, "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."?



Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/11/07 04:50:09 PM Age 46, MO
Friend: I am enjoying our conversation but I can't help but wonder how long WVN will put up with us or how long other readers will tolerate us. Regardless, I find some things fascinating that I failed to respond to. Such as making this an ES debate when that wan't the case, making this a salvation debate where Steve explicitly spoke about ANY prayer of a sinner, Asking about a Calvin vs Arminian debate today while ignoring that there are over 200 religions that came out of the reformation on both sides of the debate- Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Episc., etc... Most people of faith are functionally Arminian because they don't believe a sovereign God directs our paths like a puppeteer. Anyway to further my examples- The passage in Luke spoke of Abraham because Jesus was speaking and had not yet died. To the Jews, Abrahamm was the faith father and a forrunner of the Messiah but the reality is that Jesus could have also used the name Moses for the same effect. Finally, in your scripture quote of Genesis 17:18, you failed to read verse 19 "Then God said: NO." My premise still holds that you are beholden to your system of theology and not the will of God. My God is sovereign and can answer prayers of those HE (not us) wills. The discussion about general prayers or salvation prayers, selfish prayers or sacrificial prayers is another matter that was not in the premise of Steve's thesis. I would ask you to read his article again because, as previously mentioned, you assumed the discussion was much more involved than what it was. I will let you respond to this post and that is that because I will read it and not post again. Thanks again for being a brother in the Lord...Hey, just a shot in the dark- I will be in Victorville CA during July 4th, are youu anywhere near there? John

Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/09/07 02:22:25 PM Age 42, FL
God hears all, but he doesn't respond to a sinner's prayer for salvation -- salvation comes through the shed blood of Christ alone. John 3:8 regarding how we are born again, paraphrase: ...the Spirit goes where it pleases...



Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Does God Hear the Prayers of All People?...or only the prayers of those who are His children through Jesus?
Posted On: 05/09/07 02:17:14 PM Age 40, CA
Ok, now I understand the relationship between the topic and Luke 16:23. My response: The rich man prayed to Abraham, not God. And again, God accomplishes His will when He wants - sometimes this involves the communication with the devil and his children (and not as a communication for the sake of the sinner -- but for the sake of God). I conclude, salvation can not come through the prayer of a sinner -- but alone through the blood of Christ and nothing else.

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