Are prayers of non-believers answered?

Former Grand Haven resident Chris Van Allsburg asks, "If pagans get answered prayer, is Christianity false?"
Dec 14, 2013

Van Allsburg, who now lives in North Carolina, poses that question in an essay for his "Van Allsblog" website.

"Standing in the cold March rain in Washington, D.C., at the 2012 Reason Rally, a former Christian and now atheist mentioned to me the problem of religious pluralism, especially as it relates miracles occurring to folks of religions different than Christianity," he wrote. "If only Christianity is true, how is it that people from other religions experience good things from prayer? This is especially vexing in that the doctrine of original sin purportedly teaches that all people who are not in Christ by faith are under God's wrath."

Van Allsburg offers a simple answer to this complex question.

To read the blog, CLICK HERE.

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Comments

HeeBeeGeeBees

“It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.”
― Epicurus

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
― Epicurus

theQuin

"Pagans?" Seriously?! Haven't we come farther in society than to label "folks of religions different than Christianity" "pagans"? I would certainly not say that Jewish people, for example, are "pagans."
This kind of judgemental behavior is what turns people away from religion.

BabaYaga

Someone needs to play with Google more. Pagans and Neopagans are not offended by being called a Pagan. There are many Pagan religions all around the world and they know they are Pagans. Some Pagans are: Wiccans, Druids, Asatru (Norse Paganism), Order of the Golden Dawn, Church of All Worlds, Theosophists, Santeria and many more. Some consider Buddhists and Hindus Pagans. There are many animist religions around the world, some among indigenous peoples in Africa, South America, and the South Pacific. You should read Margo Adler's book Drawing Down the Moon to learn about Paganism.

theQuin

But this guy is not calling Wiccans and Druids pagans. He implies that anyone - Jewish, Moslem, etc.- that is not Christian, is a pagan. I am pretty sure that the more mainline non-Christians WOULD be offended at being called pagan!

deuce liti

God hears all prayers. However he answers prayers that continue his will on earth. Jesus asks us to keep his name holy (by using it, not abusing it [jews removed the vowels in His name per their superstition upon hearing to not take His name in vain; hence the tetragramaton JHVH or Jehovah in english or YHVH or Yahweh in hebrew]), letting His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven (the road to life is narrow and cramped so don't take it lightly).

So your prayers of money and ending cancer won't help people learn the truth about God, his name or his will.

God is not a genie in the sky granting wishes to those with a lot of faith (read: praying a lot), but has no real interest in the truth.

People want a shake and bake version of christianity and like to believe they are their own god that approves of all they do.

You pray for what you can do for God.
Since you don't believe in God you should pray to hear the ring of truth and for faith.

MR. WILLIAMS

Most people pray for all the wrong reasons; they pray before the football game, during the football game, they pray to win the football game, they pray after the football game, people pray for more wealth, for toys, vacations, cars, boats, houses, and I'll bet that people have prayed for almost everything in this world. I do wonder though, if people thank God for each and every breath they receive allowing them to live another moment? As far as Religions go, they are political and are in a constant self-created battle within their own church and every Religion that's different than theirs because they think their way is the only right way, when in fact, their way is no more a path to God than any other Religion. There was a point in my life where I no longer wanted anything to do with Religion and became an Atheist, until I attended a meeting where people were talking about the true self with inside of each and every living Human being, however it wasn't the words that I remembered at the end of the day, it was the incredible feeling I felt inside of myself and I wanted to have that all of the time. I could see and feel that the people talking had this feeling and that's what I wanted. They explained that there was that place of Peace, happiness, and joy inside of every Human being and that we were all born with that and somewhere along the line of growing up for whatever reason we loose touch with that place inside of ourselves and need to be shown how to make that connection again and I didn't know how, but there was someone who could show me how and it didn't cost any money, there was nothing to join, and the only thing that was needed was my desire to want to have that experience of Peace in my life and now I have.

Be

The Jewish state that the god is deaf to the goy's ears (that's you christians). The muslims state that god is deaf to the unbelievers ears (that's you christians). The christians state that the prayer of the unbeliever is an anathema to god (that's everyone else).

It's all ego centric and anthropomorphic. God is inside, not outside. As the oracle of delphi states 'man, know thyself and you shall know the universe and its gods'.

gordbzz231

People can be anything they want, but something has gone wrong and life has brought you to your knee,s, who do ask ?

zwesterhouse

It looks like after reading Matthew Chapter 7 around verses 21 it is possible and to be expected that anyone can get prayers answered. But by what forces? The Lord said "beware of false prophets who come to you as wolves in sheeps clothing. The new testament cover many passages about false teacher and how they can transform themselves into angels of light. Their is only one prayer that can get a person admission into Heaven and eternal life and it has to be said to Christ. But not some false Christ or a Christ a person makes up in their own minds or religion. Its has to be the one of the Bible. Miracles can happen anywhere - its just who is the author behind those miracles? The Bible says also to "test the spirits" So this question in this article is answered in many places in the Bible.

Wolverine49457

Do not forget the Centurian in Luke who's servant was healed from death itself because the Centurian asked fervently which showed faith albeit in desparation and the act glorified God in the process.

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