No, God does not answer the prayers of Christians who are in sin. When we say they are “in sin,” we are saying that they are abiding in it and not repenting of their sin. God says he will not hear their prayers. But, he does want them to repent and restore their fellowship with Him.
- “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear,” (Psalm 66:18).
- “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord,” (Proverbs 1:28-29).
We can see from Psalm 66:18 that if we as believers are to “regard wickedness” in our hearts, then the Lord will not hear our prayers. In other words, he won’t answer them. However, when we pray for forgiveness and we are repentant, God, of course, hears and forgives. But what does it mean to regard wickedness in your heart? The literal translation is “see iniquity with pleasure.” So, if anyone, Christian included, were to look upon sin favorably and seek to do it, then God will not hear their prayers. Sin hinders prayer’s effectiveness, and as we see in the next verse, Isaiah 59:2, God hides himself from those who are in sin. In James 4:3 we see that wrong motives hinder prayer.
Proverbs 1:28-29 tells us that God will not answer those who hate his knowledge and do not fear him. Anyone, Christian included, who would willfully abide in sin is not choosing the fear of the Lord. Therefore, God will not listen to him, and his prayers will be hindered.
The prayer of repentance and forgiveness is heard
If you’re a Christian who is abiding in sin, then what you need to do is pray to the Lord and confess your sin and then repent of it and be cleansed. God will forgive, and your fellowship with him will be restored.
- “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).
You need to trust in Christ and what he has done. You need to realize that all of our sins are cleansed in Jesus. But, if you continue to abide in sin, then God will not answer your prayers.
(Matt Slick is President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.)