Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall
raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye
may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth
The righteous have the holy spirit and God helps them more
than those without because they are in a special category and
need His help for a different reason than those in the world.
Ro 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know
not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Sometimes a righteous man can pray for an unrighteous man
for a given matter and God will hear that prayer. Abimelech
was going to die for the matter concerning Sarah unless
Abraham prayed for him. Job prayed for his three "friends"
and God heard that prayer. Therefore, God hears the prayer
of a righteous man for someone who is not righteous – at times.
Ge 20:7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet,
and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her
not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
Job 42:8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams,
and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering;
and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal
with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing
which is right, like my servant Job.
Paul tells Simon the sorcerer, in the following admonition, to
pray to God, if <perhaps> God may forgive you. Everyone
should pray always and let God decide whether He will hear.
Ac 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if
perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
Although the following teaching of The Messiah ends with the
understanding that He was projecting it toward "His own
elect" one should pray to God and never give up. Perhaps God
will see and call the person as He did with Cornelius, if he is still
a sinner that has not been called.
Lk 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought
always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying,
Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself,
Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her
continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto
him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the
Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Paul desired that all men pray – lifting up holy hands (with
righteousness) – no wrath and no doubting. This is the proper
attitude that all men would pray to God being holy and full of
1Ti 2:8 I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands,
without wrath and doubting.
The blind man who received his sight after the Messiah prayed
for him made the following comment. “God does not hear
sinners who pray in behalf of others,” would be the thrust of the
context. This would be in the context of one adult sinner
praying for another adult sinner, not in the case of a sinner
praying for a dependent child.
However, if a person knows that he is doing wicked things, God
will not hear him. God looks differently on a person who is
living with evil, knowing that he is doing what is wrong and a
person who <thinks> that he is doing right. Sodom and
Gomorrah show this. God came down to determine if the
wickedness was <great enough> to destroy those two cities.
They were trying to be as evil as they could be.
Joh 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be
a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Pr 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer
of the righteous.
Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
The following category is interesting. If a person does not turn
away from the poor, God will be more likely to hear him.
Pr 21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall
cry himself, but shall not be heard.
The following criterion is for the believer.
1Jo 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep
his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
There are many nuances as to whom God will listen. Most
people of the world will at one time be brought into the faith.
All are God's children in one sense. God can answer anyone
whom He chooses at anytime. Moreover, if God notices the
sparrow that falls to the ground, would he not hear the prayer
of a human being who is crying out to Him for help? The word,
hear, in the Bible many times is used for responding. If God
hears, that means He is responding. In the above sentence, I
used the word as we do today. God <hears> the prayer of a
sinner just as he <sees> the sparrows fall to the ground. We
should never tell anyone that God would not answer his prayer.
That is far too general. The attitude of the person praying is
partly involved. The substance of the prayer has a part to
play. We do not always know who has God’s holy spirit! God
does! It is God’s work to respond to prayers, therefore, we
must let Him determine whom He will hear. Of course, if a
person is not keeping the Ten Commandments we can be sure
that he is a sinner. Nevertheless, even in that case, we do not
always know if the person is aware of his error or ignorant of it.
Perhaps one thing we should understand about prayer is that
God is not a God of hocus-pocus. In other words, He is not
some "Jeannie in the bottle" to whom we can run each time we
are in trouble or have a wish. Faith plays a great part in which
prayer God will hear. Our prayers will be less effective when
the stimulus to draw us in more than one direction is a factor.
Furthermore, we should not underestimate humility for its
effect in prayer.
Predestination is not a doctrine of individual salvation. God has
pre-determined that He will call some people, at a given time.
However, it is unlikely that God has already determined in
advance, which individuals He is going to call. Much more
likely it is as with Cornelius, God looked down and saw that his
attitude was right, that he was persistent in his prayer, that he
was giving alms to the poor and determined that he would be
the first Gentile called into the Church of God! It is unlikely
that there is a category of people waiting for God to select
them from His call list.
At least four categories of people may pray to God: #1) Those
who are sinners, doing the best they know how to do; #2) Those
who are sinners, doing wrong and knowing it; #3) Those who
are sinners but have been called, and #4) The righteous who
have the holy spirit. Before baptism, God would be working
with those whom He has called more closely than the uncalled
sinners. God would be more likely to hear the prayer of a
sinner who is doing his best than one who is enjoying sin for a
Prayer is a means of speaking to God. While the righteous
enters into the holy of holies in heaven by means of their
prayers, sinners must pray to God from the outer court of the
temple. God does not allow them in the holy place because that
which is unholy cannot enter the holy place. God can hear
them, and will respond to them if their perspective is proper for
what they know. Only God can make that determination. We
should always encourage anyone who asks to pray to God.
To say that there are sinners, who regularly get answers to
their prayers, as though they are in intimate contact with God,
I seriously would doubt that to be the case. If they had such a
relationship with God, no doubt He would call them and bring
them into His presence in the holy of holies by giving them His
holy spirit! Why would God want to carry on a close
relationship with someone who could not enter into His
Some people in the world believe that God has answered their
prayers for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps they want something
or need something and they use the power of persuasion or
some other means to arrive at answers. They will sometimes
say that God answered their prayers. How do we know this to
be true? The mind that God has given to every human being is
awesome – if we want something badly enough, we can usually
find a way to get it. Perhaps the power of suggestion comes
into play. The Messiah said that if we believed, all things are
possible to him who believes. God had to come down and
scatter the people at the tower of Babel in order to keep man
from becoming a god too soon, “in his own eyes!” Look at all
that is around us, the computer age that is beginning. All of this
came about because of the mind of man. No doubt somewhere
along the way people claimed answers to their prayers for this
or that difficulty to an invention! Did God answer such a
prayer, we cannot say. If it were to further God's purpose, it
would be possible.
If a person knows nothing else, he can pray to the God of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If his prayer is sincere, God will
then have the opportunity to answer. If a person does not pray,
God will not answer – that is a foregone conclusion.
|Whose Prayer Does