Question: Does God hear an unsaved person’s prayer?
God is omniscient – He knows everything and there is nothing that is closed to Him. He also knows the deepest thoughts of man – whether he is a believer or not (Psalm 44:21, Psalm 94:11, Psalm 139:2-4, Heb 4:13). So you could say that God knows everyone’s prayers even before they say it. God has promised to hear only one prayer from an unbeliever – the prayer of repentance and believing on Jesus (Jer 29:13, Romans 10:13). God will not hear any other prayer from an unbeliever (John 9:31, Jeremiah 14:10-12, Proverbs 1:24-25,28, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 1:15, 1 Peter 3:12).
What then about those cases where a nonbeliever prays for something and it seems that God has answered it? God is sovereign – His will is not dependent on the prayers or will of any man. It may well have been the case that whatever the unsaved person asked for happens to be in the perfect will of God. Whatever God does, He has promised that He makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He has a plan for those who believe in Him and these plans are for our good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11).
What about us believers? Does God answer every prayer of a saved person? No, God will answer only prayers according to His pleasure and certain conditions stated in the Bible. The Holy Spirit who dwells in believers helps, guides and directs our prayers so that they are according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).