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“quibble” about prayer – April, 7, 2004

From: Peter ******** [mailto:********@charter.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 8:35 AM
To: jack@gjcn.org
Subject: Commentary Comment/Question

Thank you for your thoughts on prayer, any study on the subject of prayer is always welcome as long as it is based on Scripture-yours was. There is only one slight quibble

I have, and that is on the subject of God not hearing the prayers of unbelievers. As a hell-bound young man, God saved my life on several occasions, got me out of the traps of alcoholism and drug addiction. I did not know Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit, but did have enough sense to cry out, “If You exist please help me.” He did help me many times and it wasn’t a coincidence or by happenstance. As Jesus spoke of the Pharisee and the sinner in the temple, you will notice that it was the sinner who received grace, not the one who thought he knew God.

One of the traps that Christians fall into is self-righteous-ness, that has happened to me. We need to be careful not to limit God’s mercy and grace, because it always over-rides His justice.

Respectfully yours, Peter ********, Cumberland, Md.

Note: Full name and email hidden until permission to release such info has been obtained.


Jack Heckathorne’s Reply….

From: “Jack Heckathorne” <jack@gjcn.org>
Subject: commentary question

I have had other people tell me the same thing as you have about answering the prayer of an unbeliever. However, I can find no scripture to support it. I do believe that God with his foreknowledge will preserve the unbeliever until such time as he believes and at their request, bring him to the knowledge of Christ. This is different than the believer’s prayer. “If ye abide in me (believers only) and my words abide in you, you may ask whatsoever ye will and I will do it”.

One other point is that God does indeed have mercy and grace but he will not compromise his justice or any other of his attributes for that matter. The wonderful thing about his plan for mankind is that He found a way to have mercy on the whole human race and provide a way of salvation without compromise but only those who believe will be saved so God will preserve those who he knows will believe. I don’t believe for a moment that God will hear the prayers of an atheist or a Muslim for example who actively reject Christ. Thanks for your comment.

Best Regards,
Jack Heckathorne GJCN