Does God Answer the Prayers of the Unsaved or Unbelievers?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Does God hear the prayers of the unbelievers?  Will He answer prayer requests of the unsaved?  If someone is not a Christian, will God still answer their prayer?  Is there any hope for God answering prayers for those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?

Praying in God’s Will 

It is clear from scripture that God not only hears prayers of His saints, but that He also answers their prayers.  God says to Christians that He will listen to your prayers.  He will also answer your prayers.   In fact, God tells the believer that they can come to His heavenly throne boldly and ask Him for help (Hebrews 4:16).  But our prayers must be in alliance with God’s own, perfect will (Matt. 26:39).  Sometimes the answer is no, at other times the answer is different from what we ask for because He knows what we need better than we do.  What we want and what we need is not the same thing.

God Hears and Answers the Believers

Luke 11:9-10 says that if it is His will we can “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Further, in Psalm 34:17 He says “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”  In fact God tells His people to pour out our hearts to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8).

When God Doesn’t Answer a Christian’s Prayer

God will not answer the prayers of believers if they are living in unrepentant sin or fail to forgive others.  Matthew 6:12, 14-15 makes it plain that even a Christian’s prayer may not be heard as Jesus testifies by saying that we are to “…forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Therefore, a believer that is living in sin or fails to forgive others has their prayers blocked since they are out of fellowship with the Father.  They will never lose their relationships but continual sin can affect their fellowship.  If my children continue to be willfully disobedient, they must understand that I am not going to grant their requests since they are not doing what I ask them to do.  God will never answer the prayer of a Christian while they are regarding sin in their heart (Psalm 66:18).

Does God Hear Unbeliever’s Prayers?

Now let’s answer the question as to whether it does any good for someone who is not a Christian to pray to God and expect Him to hear and answer their prayers.  The Bible clearly says that God will not answer prayer requests of those who are not saved nor will He even listen to their prayers (John 9:31).  Believers have had their sins forgiven but those who are not Christian are separated from God by their sin (Isaiah 59:2).  I Peter 3:12 plainly says that God will hear a believer’s prayer but not those of the unsaved: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Proverbs 1:26-29 speaks to everyone who does not believe in Him and gives a warning for those who don’t  that “…when disaster strikes you;  I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.”

How Can You Be Heard By God Today?

With all the natural disasters in the world today, He is asking you today to come to Him and accept Jesus Christ as Lord.  Then He will hear and answer your prayer.  You can know for sure that your prayers make it to His ears and that He will answer you.  Psalm 17:6 gives you all the reassurance you need if you become a child of His that He will hear and He will answer your prayers: “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.”  It is my hope and prayer that you will become a child of His today:

Admit you are a sinner and you are in need of forgiveness and that you repent of your own way.

Believe that Jesus Christ is the One and Only way and that He died for your sins and was raised from the dead.

Confess with your mouth and from your heart that Jesus is Lord and Savior and confess Him to others who are lost.

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What Are the Signs of the Second Coming of Jesus?

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Does The Bible say What the Devil Looks Like?

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Timothy November 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Excellent message brother.. Truly God’s acceptance is most important and final layer of our prayers which thereafter will make our wishes come true.. Jesus did the same by accepting even worse sinner like me and demonstrated HIS excellent power of transfiguration even in my life and believe me, It is messages like this one which encouraged me to pray and intercede in HIS presence till I got blessed abundantly.

Thanks a lot brother..!!

you can visit if you free after completing gaining knowledge from here..


Jack Wellman November 7, 2014 at 9:13 am

Thank you Timothy. Loved your website too. I appreciate your hunger for truth and what an encourager you are.


Keiva Cooper November 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I would like to thank you for the insight, when it comes to struggling with prayer. I have a dilemma, I have been praying and fasting for guidance in a situation in my life. I just want to make the right decision please to the Lord. I want to please him but he won’t tell me what to do. What should I do? Have any answers?


Jack Wellman November 15, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Thank you Mr. Cooper for your comment and question. I don’t know how to answer your question because I don’t know your situation. God does not speak audibly but does speak in His word. If what you want to do aligns with God’s will and the Word is His written will, then it should be fine. I would check out this article called “How to Find God’s Will in your Life” at this link: and have you spoken with your own pastor yet? That should be your first person to speak with. Have you talked to your pastor yet? If so, what did he say? If not, why not yet Mr. Cooper? I do know that many Bible verses tells us what the will of God is and until we do the revealed will, in the Word of God (i.e. Rom 12:2) then He will not reveal His secret will.


rocky December 2, 2014 at 7:21 am

hey jack, i always wondered why is it that people who doesn’t pray nor believe in God often live a happy life and having everything they want and need…for example wealth,materialism etc.


Jack Wellman December 2, 2014 at 7:39 am

Hello Rocky….what is a few years in this life of prosperity and enjoyment compared to all eternity in hell? In Psalm 73 Asaph divulges that he had struggled with a problem that is, most likely, common to us all. Asaph looked out at the world and saw that the wicked prosper! Psalm 73:3 “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Not only do the wicked prosper, “they increase in riches” (Psalm 73:12). God seems to blesses the wicked even though they are wicked. I labor for the Lord everyday and yet I do not have what this wicked man has. Modern vernacular would phrase Asaph’s quandary as: “Why does God allow bad things happen to good people?” or “Why does God allow bad people to prosper?” God will judge everyone based on what they have done! We should focus on ensuring that we do not squander what God has given us. Job 34:11 “For according to the work of a man he will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him.” God is just and on the day of judgement will repay all of the evil that is done in this world.


Tom Howard January 6, 2015 at 7:37 pm

You did not mention one of the surest scripture on receiving what you ask for. It’s 1 John 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.”


Jack Wellman January 6, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Thank you Mr. Howard…no, I didn’t mention that but who was John writing too? Unbelievers? No, read the Book of First John and see that this was written to the church…and the “Elect Lady” as he calls it in 2 John. Are you suggesting that God hears and answers the prayers of unbelievers? You presume then that God will give to even the unsaved whatever they ask? Do the unbelievers “keep His commandments” and “do those things that are pleasing in His sight?” No, read John 3:17-18 and John 3:36. The Lord’s Prayer opens with Jesus showing the disciples how to pray with “Our Father” and Jesus says many times that those who refused to believe are of their father the devil.


Tom Howard January 7, 2015 at 5:28 am

Was responding to the last part, “How Can You Be Heard By God Today?” It still fits even unbeliever’s, as it goes on to say, 1 John 3:23, “And this is his commandment That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ,….” So, salvation is a ‘whatsoever’ and we ‘should believe’. No, only those that “…’have’ this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3. Thanks!


Jack Wellman January 7, 2015 at 8:55 am

No, it is a “whosoever shall believe” and those who are believing are already being drawn to God by the Father (John 6:44). So you believe that God will hear and answer the prayers of everyone. Does this include Hitler? Stalin? Those who may have a head knowledge and believe. Do Jesus is wrong when He said “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 9:21). Either you are right or Jesus is.


Tom Howard January 7, 2015 at 11:07 am

Hitler and Stalin did not keep his commandment (which is they ‘should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ’) nor did those things that are pleasing. The only thing that separates a sinner from God is unbelief. Also, that was “not” Jesus speaking in John 9:31. But this fellow, who your quoting, was not even a believer in Christ until later, at verse 36-38.

Lauren Poe January 28, 2015 at 9:18 am

i was intrested in this topic when it came up last week at church. But i have a thought. God has to hear the prayers of unbelievers. Otherwise how could the lost be saved… Any thoughts on this?


Jack Wellman January 28, 2015 at 11:05 am

I do agree that someone who was lost can be found and saved so those who are being called by God as Jesus said in John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” This article addresses those who refuse to repent and trust in Christ as God does not answer the prayers of those who disobey God. We are all sinners so God did hear our prayer before we were saved but generally that prayer is one of confession of sin and asking for forgiveness and God not only will hear that prayer but answer it. Thank you Lauren.


Anielle March 2, 2015 at 11:42 pm

I was a sinner doomed for hell and God did hear my prayer and answer!!!! He saved me by the blood of the Lamb.

How can Christ the risen one not hear a prayer of a sinner? Jesus came for sinners.


JoAnne G. March 16, 2015 at 7:38 pm

I agree with many comments but all is not complete. It was mentioned above that 1 John 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.” Very true that we must seek Him, hearing his word, and repent and confess…we must do those things that are pleasing in his sight as stated in 1 John 3:22. So to be saved we must take the bible in its entirety and completeness and in context…so consider God’s desires stated in:

Matthew 28:19 (KJV) “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
Matthew 28:20 (KJV) “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Mark 16:16 (KJV) “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Acts 2:38 (KJV) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 2:41 (KJV) “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
Acts 8:12 (KJV) “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
Acts 8:13 (KJV) “Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.”

Hmmm…Baptizing? Yes, of course. We must submit to the will of our Father by being baptized into Christ’s death and that is the way to be “in” Him and part of his Kingdom, His Church. Of course we must continue his will always…


Jessica Y. June 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Thank you again for another amazing article!
The unrepentant sin is the same as unforgivable sin?
Hope you are having a good weekend!


Jack Wellman June 6, 2015 at 9:55 pm

No sin is bigger than the Savior.


Aria August 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Not really related to the article, but kind of, I’ve just been wondering.
If a non-believer (ex Atheist, Buddhist, etc) lives an amazing life as a good person, spreading God’s love despite not believing in Him, etc. will they go to Hell, or will God have mercy?


Jack Wellman August 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Thank you Aria. The Bible says we must trust in Christ and believe in Him (John 3:16; Acts 4:12) and that there’s no other way to heaven (Acts 16:30-31). That’s not my opinion but God’s Word. Besides, the Bible says none are good…not even one (Rom 3:10-11). Our good works are filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6).


Joey carico October 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

Very much spot on until the ending, one still must be baptized for remission of sin to complete the gospel call. Saying a sinners prayer is not biblical whatsoever..even Jesus was babtized in the river Jordon to (( fulfill all righteousness .)). The apostle Paul did not have his sins removed until he was babtized. Today neither can we without being baptized. Joey carico


Donna lee January 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm

So what about thief on the cross he didn’t have time to be baptized yet Jesus said today you will be with me in paradise


Jack Wellman January 6, 2019 at 5:38 pm

Amen Donna. Good point.


jerry May 7, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Jesus had not died, been buried, and resurrected, so the thief could NOT be baptized into Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4). Baptism into Christ was not yet applicable to the thief or anyone quite yet.


Jack Wellman May 7, 2019 at 6:51 pm

So by your reasoning then, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and the others couldn’t be saved either since they weren’t baptized after Jesus Christ death,burial, and resurrection. You are saying, “Jesus + Baptism = Salvation” but that is heresy. All glory and credit belong to God for our salvation. and the word “baptized” in the Greek is generally understood to mean “identified with” so I suggest you study more on this subject and stop trying to make two plans of salvation. It’s not a plan of salvation, but the Man of Salvation, Jesus Christ.

Cheryl July 4, 2017 at 3:49 pm

While I believe that normally, God listens to his children and his ears are open to their prayers, I don’t believe that God has “never” answered the prayer of an unbeliever. I was an unbeliever once and God heard me.


Jack Wellman July 4, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Yes, you were an unbeliever, but were made alive by God and God alone (Eph 2:1). Generally speaking, would God hear the prayers of bankrobbers, murderers, or other unrepentant people? As the verses noted have said, God does not answer the prayers of the unsaved unless it is to be saved.


Steve July 31, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Allow me to comment and pose a question. This topic happened to come up in Sunday School yesterday. In my view God can do whatever he wants any time he wants, to accomplish a goal. It is not dependent on what some people at Nicaea decided should be included in scripture. Question. What if I felt the call to tend to the needs of an elderly disabled lady? I go to her residence and announce my intentions to offer her aid in any way I can. She says, “Thank God, you’re an answer to prayer.” I respond, “Well I’m happy to know you’re a Christian.” She says, ‘Well I have never accepted Christ as my savior but I believe in God.” OK, what do I do? As an ambassador of Christ do I tell her that her prayers weren’t actually answered because God wouldn’t hear her prayers and that I’m there by coincidence? If I tell her that, she’ll think that man is more caring than the God man serves. We can’t leave that impression for sure. But I don’t want her to think that I’m usurping God’s authority. After all, I would be helping someone God refused to even hear calls from. That doesn’t make sense at all. The only possible way to convince her that her prayers weren’t heard would be for me to walk away without helping her and tell her that she needed to be saved first. But I can’t do that as it is scriptural to help and Godly to help. But God didn’t hear her pleas for help, why should I? After all, I work for him. But the conflict is obvious to any thinking person. We play a dangerous game telling God what he can and can’t do. The simple fact is this. The woman prayed and her prayer was answered. You can slice it any way you want but to any thinking Christian that’s a spiritual conclusion. It is a fact. There’s is no mistaking it. The woman in need prayed and a man of God showed up to tend to that need. In her mind her prayer was answered unless I leave her without helping her. Nice impression, huh?


Jack Wellman July 31, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Hello Steve and thank you for your comments. I think you are taking what I have said out of context and please re-read what I wrote. We were all sinners and lost before we trusted in Christ and we prayed to God to be saved, but that means God was in the process of saving that person, and again, God will sometimes hear the prayers of an unsaved person, but it is always to glorify Him, perhaps bringing someone to saving faith, or at least receiving the witness that God is real. What this article is about is what the Bible teachers, God does not hear sinners (this may refer to the unrepentant of course), so take it anyway you wish sir. God does hear the prayers of the lost, but do you think a person who is continues to live in open sin and in rebellion against God will be heard and answered by God (Rom 5:10)? You so misconstrued what I said, so I am sorry you failed to understand what I wrote sir. Consider these:

Psalm 34:15
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.

Psalm 66:18
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;

Psalm 145:19
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Proverbs 15:29
The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Proverbs 28:9
He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.

Isaiah 1:15
“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.


steve August 1, 2017 at 6:46 am

Thank you for your prompt response and clarification Jack. My post was for all to see and for you to make a clear statement on the topic. Well it was actually already clear but worth repeating with some context applied. Maybe my scenario helped others. I actually attend a southern Baptist church where some members state that an unsaved person is simply making noise when he/she prays. So your clarification is welcome indeed. God bless.


Sylvia September 14, 2017 at 9:58 am

What about these bible references..god answering unbelievers prayers:

The people of Nineveh prayed that Nineveh might be spared (Jonah 3:5-10). God answered this prayer and did not destroy the city of Nineveh as He had threatened.

Hagar asked God to protect her son Ishmael (Genesis 21:14-19). God not only protected Ishmael, God blessed him exceedingly.

The people of Nineveh prayed that Nineveh might be spared (Jonah 3:5-10). God answered this prayer and did not destroy the city of Nineveh as He had threatened.

Hagar asked God to protect her son Ishmael (Genesis 21:14-19). God not only protected Ishmael, God blessed him exceedingly.


Jack Wellman September 14, 2017 at 10:18 am

Yes, God heard these prayers, but these people are those who finally believed in God and God was in the process of saving them. If you think God hears the prayers of people who don’t seek after God or the prayers of atheists or God-haters, you don’t understand the article. Are you saying God will hear and answer the prayers of people who reject Christ? He may make exceptions, but this is very rare indeed. Hagar was under God’s sovereignty and the people of Nineveh would not have repented unless God was calling them to repentance. God will hear a prayer of an unsaved person who is seeking to be saved or knows God and needs help (like Hagar) but please re-read the verses in this article.


Aaron Mendenhall November 14, 2018 at 2:24 pm

If God doesn’t answer ANY prayer of an unsaved person, then what are we to think of all the numerous instances of unsaved people praying, in desperation, things like, “God, if you’re real, do something to make yourself real to me” and God DOES do something and that person then becomes a believer?


Jack Wellman November 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Hello Mr. Mendenhall. I think it’s generally speaking that the Scriptures say God does not listen to sinners, but some He does as they pray to Him and are saved. God will answer that kind of prayer…one of seeking forgiveness and coming to Christ and trusting in Him. If someone is sinning, GOd may hear them but not answer their request as a father would not grant a request of a child who is living in disobedience. Yes, I believe He does hear some who are unsaved, but God does not bless sinners prayer requests. That is not in the Bible sir.


Carrisa allen December 22, 2018 at 6:39 am

Very helpful and im a million% READY to REPENT today☝☺❤


Vamsi Krishna September 28, 2019 at 8:43 am

Praise the lord Wellman sir
I have a one doubt for you …I have been know him since I was child …but I have been praying to him sincerely for last 4months. And i have been asking him for so many days like this god pls appear to me n talk to me desire is talk to you like that …but I haven’t got any answer from my god …I I accepted & obeyed what ever the sins I was done …to him and asked him to forgive my sins..I don’t know may be he was forgived me or he may not … But also I haven’t taken baptism ..some would say these was the main reason that he didnot talk to you .. because your sins are not washed yet …. should I take baptism to get holy spirit …???
After getting holy spirit is he will talk to me ??
2) still god can hear our prayers if we havenot taken baptism???


Jack Wellman September 28, 2019 at 10:14 am

Hello Vamsi. Thank you for your comment. THe Holy Spirit comes first and then we are to be baptized, so you have asked a very good question my friend. God speaks to us through His Word and the Spirit of God illuminates the Word so we hear what God says to us. For example, Rom 12:1-5 or Matt 26:35-36 speak to us Yes, God will hear us if we’ve not been baptized, but every believer should be baptized..not in order to be saved or to hear from God, but as Jesus commanded, we are to baptize them into the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit’s name…does that make sense? Why have you not been baptized? Maybe that is something you can do soon, but baptism doesn’t save, but every saved person is commanded to be baptized. Please my friend, read this about baptism and I am praying for you:


Jack Wellman January 7, 2015 at 11:13 am

So you believe that God hears and answers the prayers of sinners? What is your point sir? God does hear and answer the prayers of sinners? What about:

Because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their supplications. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil. (1Peter 3:12) Is this true or not?

Because I called, and you refused to hearken, I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; 25. But you have despised all my counsel and would have none of my reproof. 26. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes; 27. When your calamity comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when trouble and pain come upon you, 28. Then they shall call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. (Proverbs 1:24-28, see also Job 35:13, Proverbs 28:9, Daniel 9:13-14).

13. And whatever you shall ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 15. If you love Me, keep the commandments – namely, My commandments. (John 14:13-15).

Do the unsaved keep His commandments? Yes or no? For every “proof text” you use, I can use a dozen that show that God only hears those who are being called by Him and those who have already been saved.


Jack Wellman January 7, 2015 at 11:31 am

Mr. Howard…I want us to just agree to disagree for this is a non-essential to the faith issue, isn’t it? I don’t want to debate over something that is essential to a person being saved or not. Please, let’s just part in this discussion as brothers in Christ as I don’t believe that I can convince you nor you I so doesn’t that sound agreeable sir? I want to be respectful of your beliefs. I mean no disrespect to you sir and so I want you to just know that you are loved and for those who are not saved, let’s you and I pray for someone in particular to be saved so that they will be joining us in the kingdom. As the saying goes “In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love” let us not wrangle over non-essentials but be unified in all things that are. Make sense sir? Thank you and with all due respect, may God richly bless you Mr. Howard.


Tom Howard January 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Do the unsaved keep His commandments? No, but the keeping “it” is only a belief away. 1 John 3:23. How far is it away? “The word (of life) is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart,….” Romans 10:8. Christ has done it all, sinner’s (as we once were) are a believing call away. verse 13. Very essential.


Joyce July 26, 2020 at 12:40 am

I believe God Listens to every one even to non-believers.. I have heard testimonials of non-believers who prayed to God in their darkest, most desperate moments which eventually led them to become Christians when they received God’s answers and enlightenment… so not all hope is lost for non-believers if they sincerely talk to God.. God works in most amazing ways…


Jack Wellman January 7, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Thank you Mr Howard. Essential in the sense of whether a person can be lost or saved? No, but I appreciate your hunger for the truth sir and may God richly bless you my friend.


Jack Wellman July 26, 2020 at 6:15 am

Hello Joyce. I appreciate saying what you believe but the Bible says God does not listen to sinners. He will to those who are repenting and trusting in Him, but the Bible is clear. God does not hear and answer the prayers of unsaved people.


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