GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH

Home
Home > Ministries > Prayer
 

The Gift:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16



How can I be saved?


Are You A Good Person?


Audio Sermons


AWANA


Mother's Day Out


Contact Us








Prerequisites for Effective Prayer

 

Note the following important prerequisites for effective prayer:

(1) Personal relationship with Jesus Christ as one's Savior.

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."



(2) Walking in fellowship: Sins confessed and Spirit-controlled.

Psalm 66:18

If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;



1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Ephesians 6:18

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,



(3) Living by the Word (cf. Ps. 119).

Proverbs 28:9

He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.



John 15:7

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.



(4) Praying in faith trusting in the will of God.

Matthew 21:22

And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.



James 1:5-8

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.



1 John 5:14-15

And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.


Hindrances to Effective Prayer

Does God answer the prayers of unbelievers? God is sovereign and can choose to answer any prayer He sees fit. But Scripture clearly indicates that God does not listen to or answer every prayer. In fact, Scripture gives at least fifteen reasons for unanswered prayer. God does not answer the prayer of those:

  1. Who fail to ask.
    James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
  2. Who have personal and selfish motives.
    James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
  3. Who regard iniquity in their hearts. Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
  4. Who remain in sin.
    Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
    John 9:31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.
  5. Who offer unworthy service to God.
    Malachi 1:7-9 "You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, 'In what way have we defiled You?' By saying, 'The table of the Lord is contemptible.' And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the Lord of hosts. "But now entreat God's favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?" Says the Lord of hosts.
  6. Who forsake God.
    Jeremiah 14:10-12 Thus says the Lord to this people: "Thus they have loved to wander; They have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, And punish their sins." Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.
  7. Who reject God's call.
    Proverbs 1:24-25, 28 Because I [Wisdom] have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke.... Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
  8. Who will not heed God's law.
    Proverbs 28:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
    Zechariah 7:11-13 "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen," says the Lord of hosts"
  9. Who turn a deaf ear to the cry of the poor.
    Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, Will also cry himself and not be heard.
  10. Who are violent.
    Isaiah 1:15; see also 59:2-3 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.
  11. Who worship idols.
    Jeremiah 11:11-14; see also Ezekiel 8:15-18 Therefore thus says the Lord: "Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal. So do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble."
  12. Who have no faith.
    James 1:6-7 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
  13. Who are living in hypocrisy.
    Luke 12:1 Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
  14. Who are proud of heart.
    James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5 God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
  15. Who are self-righteous.
    Luke 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess." And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
  16. Who mistreat God's people.
    Psalm 18:40-41 You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
    Micah 3:2-4 You who hate good and love evil; Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones; Who also eat the flesh of My people, Flay their skin from them, Break their bones, And chop them in pieces, Like meat for the pot, Like flesh in the caldron. Then they will cry to the Lord, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds.
  17. Who have broken relationships.
    1 Peter 3:7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
    Mark 11:25-26 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions. 26 (But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.)
    Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
    Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

So, does God answer the prayers of unbelievers? A strict yes or no answer is difficult without qualifying the answer in various ways. However, it is noteworthy that the above mentioned principles represent some of the key characteristics of an unbeliever. Thus we can safely say that, in general, God does not answer the prayers of an unbeliever.

Copyright © 2017 --- Grace Baptist Church, 201 Belinda Parkway, Mount Juliet, TN 37122 --- Phone: (615) 754-5570