Does God answer prayers only from those who believe in Him?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Does God answer prayers only from those who believe in Him, or can every person receive answers from God even if they practice another religion? - P.C.
A: The Bible teaches that prayer is the privilege of those who have become the children of God (John 1:12). And, of course, He hears and answers the prayers of those who come to Him in repentance. "Call upon Me... [and] I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me" (Psalm 50:15).
God always answers prayer - not sometimes, but all the time. We may not always understand how God answers our prayers. At times He says "yes," while at other times He answers "no" or "wait."
But one of the greatest privileges of the child of God is the privilege of coming directly to God in prayer. "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" (James 5:16, NIV). This is possible because Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God through His death on the cross. We are separated from God, but Christ took away our sins and when we come to Christ by faith we are united with Him.
Our prayers must also be in accordance with the will of God (and it is God's will for people to come to salvation in Him) for the simple reason that God knows better what is good for us than we know ourselves.
Secularism rules the day. People often belittle prayer to God until they find themselves in trouble. The world is being carried on a rushing torrent that is sweeping out of control. Only one power can redeem the course of people's lives, and that is the power of prayer. All people are called to turn "to God from idols [false religion] to serve the living and true God" (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Prayer opens the gates of eternity to sinners saved by grace.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2020 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.