“But God has answered my prayers for a long time, so how could I not be saved?”
Answered prayer is not “proof” we are saved. God answers prayers of unsaved people all the time. That is how loving, caring, all-powerful, all-knowing, merciful, and perfect God is.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” –Matthew 5:45
When God answers our prayers even before we are saved, He is drawing us to Him. When we reach out for God, He does not push us away. He answers so we will know He is there. He answers so we will know he is real. He answers so we will believe He exists. God answers so we will continue to seek after Him.
It is not unusual for God to hear the prayers of people that are seeking Him, even before they are saved. See Cornelius in Acts chapter 10:
Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at
three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to
Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner,
who lives by the sea.' So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come.
Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has
commanded you to tell us."
God not only heard Cornelius’ prayer before he was saved, He sent an angel in response to provide him with more information through Peter! Peter later told Cornelius the rest of the message so that he could be saved.
Jesus warned us that even miracles performed in His name does not mean we are saved:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
In the above verse, how could these people cast out demons unless they pray? How could they perform any of these works without prayer? Notice Jesus does not deny they did these things. But Jesus tells them to depart because they did not do His will. How do we know what God’s will is? By reading the Scriptures and doing what they say.
Think about this: If God did not answer our prayers at all before we were saved, how would we ever find Him?
Imagine a parent that looses their child in a store. Does the parent not cry out and call to that lost child? And when the child hears his mother or father, does he not run in the direction of that voice?
That is what God does with us!
And, in God’s eyes, we are not considered found until we are in Christ:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? –Romans 6:3
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. -- Galatians 3:26-27
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…--1Corinthians 12:13
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in
accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom
and understanding. – Ephesians 1:7-8
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1
We must be sure we have followed what the Scriptures teach regarding salvation, conversion, and how to be saved, and not follow our own feelings, and traditions. Our feelings will lead us astray every time, but God’s Word is always true.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
“I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." – John 8:51
This page last updated: March 19, 2003