God, Prayer and Lack of Faith by Ignorance

Salvete, omnes!

Let us say that we that a person fails to pray for deliverance from some evil because he is either ignorant, for whatever reason, of the true Power of God or because he, out of ignorance, does not believe God (or even the Divine of any kind) is able, for whatever reason, to intervene in his life.

As I understand it, if the Christian prays in faith, God is always able (though often does not) supernaturally to intervene, so, then, God is capable of changing the situation for a believer who asks it of Him, but, again, what of someone who does not believe, out of genuine ignorance, that He is able to do this.

Even though God may know the desires of his heart, will He still not do what the person truly wishes simply because, out of ignorance, that person has not prayed for Him to change the situation in his favor? Or, rather, will God take pity on him and go ahead and alter the situation even though the person has not technically prayed/asked for such to be done and given the desire of that person’s heart for his circumstances to be changed? Because God loves that person and (presumably) understands/is gentle with his ignorance, would God not ethically have to act in the most loving way (as I understand it) possible, i.e., still to grant that person his desires (be they lawful/according to His Will), even if the did not pray to Him?

Maybe this question is unanswerable, but I just thought I’d pose it as I was thinking about such a situation earlier today.

And, also, what of those who simply forget to pray in ignorance, out of no fault of their own?

You could have all of your questions answered by reading the catechism.
It’s free online.

If you could give me citations, that would be very helpful, so that I don’t have to labor all the way through it, especially since my familiarity with it is not what it could be at present.

Other more direct answers are appreciated as well.


Google: Invincible ignorance catholic catechism.

But, are you sure that this very specific and even abstract and perhaps rather esoteric question is addressed there? From what little I know of the Catechism, something tells me that it isn’t, as it is generally much more general than the question I have here.

Also, I already know the basics concerning invincible ignorance. That isn’t a problem. My question regards when it is present in regard to prayer as I have here posed a very specifci question.

Also, a more direct answer in this forum is still appreciated.

The Catechism isn’t meant to be specific, though. It’s meant to be general, not provide answers to every single situation.

As to your question, my suggestion is to talk to a Priest about it to make sure you get a theologically sound answer.


See link then scroll down to prayer.


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.