Does God answer intercessory prayers for unbelievers?

My priest couldn’t quite answer this to my satisfaction.

Suppose I pray for a struggling unbeliever to be healed and come to Christ. They had free will - my priest emphasized this - so they can reject that blessing.

However, I’ve come across cases in which God presents Himself to an unbeliever in such a way that they are brought to faith, whereas otherwise they never would have.

So, should I pray for an unbeliever to come to faith and whatever else I pray for them? Is there too big of a risk they will simply reject the blessing? Or does God only bless believers who pray and are prayed for?

If you have a story of a miracle happening to an unbeliever in this way, I’d love to hear it! :innocent:

If you make a prayer, in good faith, for anyone else, then there is no “risk” involved for the other person. It cannot hurt them and it will help them, even if the help is not in the way you are envisioning in your prayer. Example: you pray for a sick person to recover, instead the sick person dies, but your prayer is not “wasted” as the person still receives the benefit of your asking God to help them, he’s just helping them in a different way from what you pictured.

I think your priest was cautioning you that just because you pray for an unbeliever to come to Jesus, he or she still might not come, in other words you might not get just what you prayed for. It’s entirely possible the person might stay an unbeliever. On the other hand, your prayer might help move them closer to God or give them grace or blessings in some way you simply won’t see or comprehend. Maybe for example God will give them some inner peace or blessing to do good for others on earth despite their unbelief. Maybe they will accept God in the last moments of life when nobody is around to witness it. Go ahead and pray for them.

Of course he does! God wants everyone to be with Him for all eternity. Whatever the result with that person, God still loves them wants them to love him.

I don’t think we can say the unbeliever ‘rejects’ the blessing as that implies a completely free choice. We can’t know how their mind operates, only God can. And even if they don’t come around to belief, who knows, maybe they suddenly find themselves capable of greater empathy or compassion. Anything is possible with God.:slight_smile:

I really love your explanations, here and elsewhere.

Yes. This.

St. Monica

[quote=“The_New_Sage, post:1, topic:444342”]
My priest couldn’t quite answer this to my satisfaction.

Suppose I pray for a struggling unbeliever to be healed and come to Christ. They had free will - my priest emphasized this - so they can reject that blessing.

However, I’ve come across cases in which God presents Himself to an unbeliever in such a way that they are brought to faith, whereas otherwise they never would have.

So, should I pray for an unbeliever to come to faith and whatever else I pray for them? Is there too big of a risk they will simply reject the blessing? Or does God only bless believers who pray and are prayed for?

If you have a story of a miracle happening to an unbeliever in this way, I’d love to hear it! ������
[/quote]Hi!

…Jesus said: ‘love those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you…’

…there are two things happening with this statement:

  1. the Believers are kept from sin, sinking into the unrighteous acts of non-Believers
  2. the non-Believers are getting an opportunity to give up their fallacy and turn to God–if they do (allow the Holy Spirit to Convict them) they will become Believers; if they persists in their rejection of God their state will further erode since they will have embraced their sin/unrighteousness and continued to reject God.

Maran atha!

Angel

To God be the glory if they are actually helping anyone. I’m a bear of little brain about these things.

Yes! I was just going to say that. She prayed for her son, Augustine, for 30 years! Then, he converted and became a saint in his own right! So yes, by all means, pray for unbelievers. We all need to.

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