Does God answer the prayers of non-Christians?

Recently, I have been wondering if (and why) God answers the prayers of non-Christians, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons, if they are in fundamental, essential error. After all, they pray in the state of false doctrine and in its name, believing it to be true, claiming to be Christian.

Is there an answer to this? I have found one thread on this topic in regard to non-Catholic Christians, but I feel it is qualitatively different from my question. Looking forward to answers. :slight_smile:

These people are sincere believers in God’s love and mercy. God knows their intentions and their hearts. God cares and listens.

The Church teaches love and blessing:
From the **Catechism of the Catholic Church
**
"The Church and non-Christians

839 “Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.”

842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them"

Link to Catechism regarding this matter: vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p3.htm
God bless you. :slight_smile:

Yes, he can and often does. Anybody that is sincerely seeking his will is heard by him. And even beyond that, he is sovereign and fundamentally able to answer whatever he wants, especially if it will cause someone to be drawn closer to his heart.

God is a loving Father to all. Everyone. Non-Christians too.

Luke 11:9-13 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Yes, but any and all prayers answered are answered through Christ and His Body (the Catholic Church).

For a while God’s love was thought to be for only the Jews and then it was realised God’s love is for Jews and Gentiles alike.

God IS love and therfore will listen to all who call to him. B:gopray2: :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Perhaps their “error” is not as fundamental nor as essential as you believe it is.

Like for everyone else, God answers all prayers in a way that is conducive to the person’s salvation and well-being (sometimes “no” is that answer).

You imply that God answering a non-Catholics prayer confirms them in error, but instead it can be an incentive to turn to God with even more faith and confidence, which opens a person more and more to grace. And grace leads to believing the truth and to salvation.

From a Catholic point of view, it is. So essential in fact that they can’t be called Christian, which is why I saw the qualitative difference.

I just wanted to add to my earlier post that if God didn’t answer non-Catholic prayers than non-Catholics would never come to the faith and never be saved.

St. Robert Bellarmine said non-Catholics "can know from His creatures that God exists; then they can be stimulated by God, through His preventing grace, to believe in God, that He exists and that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him: and from such faith, they can be inspired, under the guidance and help of God, to pray and give alms and in this way obtain from God a still greater light of faith, which God will communicate to them, either by Himself or through angels or through men. (De Gratis et Libero Arbitrio, lib. 2, cap. 8).

St. Alphonsus Liguori says the same thing in his book, Prayer: the Great Means of Salvation:

[quote=St. Alphonsus]For as God, in the natural order, has ordained that man should be born naked, and in want of several things necessary for life, but then has given him hands and intelligence to clothe himself and provide for his other needs; so, in the supernatural order, man is born unable to obtain salvation by his own strength; but God in His goodness grants to every one the grace of prayer, by which he is able to obtain all other graces which he needs in order to keep the Commandments and to be saved.
[/quote]

Every human being on the planet (and those on the space station) are ALL God’s children. Christian or not. I can’t imagine God ignoring 2 out of every 5 humans just because they aren’t Christians.

I hate to speculate about what God may or may not do; but to not answer even SOME of those prayers would run contrary to just about everything I have ever been taught as a Christian.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.