Biblical Prayer: …Except the prayers of the Wicked.

Proverbs 28:9; Zechariah 7:11-14; Proverbs 15:8, 29; John 9:31
2 Chronicles 7:13-15; Psalms 51:16-17; Isaiah 55:6-7; Ezekiel 18:21-23, 27-31

More About Biblical Prayer

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Proverbs 28:9; Zechariah 7:11-14; Proverbs 15:8, 29; John 9:31 (9/25/08)

To the best of my knowledge and belief, none of the members of our study group are wicked.  Sinful, yes; wicked, no.  The difference is that a sinful person is – or at least in this group I expect would be – sorry, and wants to get right with God.  The wicked person just doesn't care about God.  And God isn't about to force anything on those folks; for example He isn't going to force them to believe by answering their prayers in any way.  Furthermore, their prayers are probably un-Christlike, and thus unlikely to be answered positively in any case. 

So.  After telling you for a week that God answers all prayers, I'm now giving you the exception.  But it doesn't apply to you, my dear reader.

Today’s Prayer: O God, I know I'm a sinner, but I want to be a sinner who comes back to you and talks with you, and not a wicked sinner who ignores you.  Amen.

But if the Wicked repent, God hears them, too.

2 Chronicles 7:13-15; Psalms 51:16-17; Isaiah 55:6-7; Ezekiel 18:21-23, 27-31 (9/26/08)

In many places the Bible says that God does not hear the prayers of the wicked.  Well, that's pretty tough on them, isn't it?  What if they decide they want to talk after all?  Actually, in many, many places in the Bible, "hear" has the connotation of "hear and obey," and I believe that's true of the places where God is not "hearing" the wicked.  He isn't saying, "LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU."  He's saying, "While you are unwilling to obey me, I will not grant your least petition.  If you change your mind, let me know."

So the exception to yesterday's exception is that even the wicked can get a hearing when they want to talk about repentance.  One of the greatest contributions that John Wesley made to theology is the understanding that God's grace is available to everyone, no matter who they have been up 'til now.

Today’s Prayer: Dear God of Grace, Today I especially pray for my friend _____.  Soften _____'s heart to turn back to you.  Amen.

More About Biblical Prayer

The Purpose of Prayer
Conversations with God – Abraham
Conversations with God – Moses
Conversations with God – David and Solomon
Adoration: Sing to the Lord a New Song
Liturgical Prayer
When God Speaks
God promises to answer all prayers…
… Except the prayers of the Wicked. But if the Wicked repent, God hears them, too.
Sometimes the answer is “No.
The disciples talk about prayer.
How Not to Pray
How to Pray: Effectively
How to Pray – Privately
How to Pray – Corporately

Copyright 2008, 2011 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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