Does God answer the prayers of sinners?

To understand the answer, one must first realize that all people sin, and have cut themselves off from God. This is explained in Romans 3:23 and 5:21: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and “…as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The prophet Isaiah wrote, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear” (59:2). The Bible plainly reveals that God hides His face from sinners—He turns away from them. The apostle John further confirms this: “Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and does His will, him He hears” (9:31).

We also read that God will not have fellowship with sinners: “For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14). John explains, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him [God], and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (I John 1:6).

But, if all people sin, and God does not fellowship with—or even look upon—them, how can humans approach God—and learn how to be righteous? Is there a way for us to seek God?

Isaiah further writes, “Seek you [all people—sinners] the Lord while He may be found, call you upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (55:6-7).

This is how we can approach and seek God: by humbling ourselves, forsaking our sinful ways and obeying Him! Once a person learns the truth, repents from his sins, is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit, God no longer considers him a sinner. I John 3:22 records, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”