In Isaiah 59:1-3 we teach those we study the Bible with that sin separates one from God. Verse 2 says "Your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear you." Does this mean God doesn't hear prayers of non-Christians? I have a hard time believing this; however, Isaiah 1:15 supports Isaiah 59:2. How do you see it? -- Rob (Orlando)
God hears everything, including prayers of non-Christians. He may not hear and comply and bless (John 9:31), but he certainly hears. Even the non-Christian's prayer to find God - as Jesus said, "Seek and you will find" - assumes God will honor the sincere prayer of the seeker, even if he or she is lost.
The context of Isaiah's warnings: the people of God, having rejected his standards, are cutting themselves off from a relationship with him. As 1:15 reads, "When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood." God will not listen when we are deliberately resisting him. See also Psalm 66:18.
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