Does God answer the prayers of the unsaved?
Does God answer the prayers of the unsaved? Because in James 4:3 it says "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your own lusts." If you are unsaved, then it is inevitable that you are going to ask amiss, yet God invites us to come to Him and ask Him for help etc.
Are there examples in the Bible of God answering prayers of the unsaved? If we can find even one example of that, your question is answered. In Gen. 4 I do find an example already. God did answer Cain implied prayer when he responded to God's curse, Gen. 4:13-14. Cain's prayer was even completely selfish. Later in 1 Kings 21 we meet with ungodly Ahab. After Elijah brought him God's curse, Ahab humbled himself before God which undoubtedly included prayer. He heard it and granted him a delay.
How often doesn't the Lord answer prayers like that in our daily life? People who don't really serve the Lord out of love ask God for help, protection, jobs, spouse and how often doesn't the Lord answer those prayers. It speaks about God's infinite goodness that He is willing to hear and answer our prayers.
The verse that you quoted is dealing with a specific situation James perceived taking place. The people were fighting and arguing with each other. In that context they were also praying, perhaps that God would bring the other down their enemies. Instead of 'praying for their enemies that they be saved or changed' they prayed that their enemies' cause be defeated so that they themselves would look good. God rejects such prayers because the only thing they desire is to triumph at the expense of the other.
Again, God calls us to use our mind to pray to Him. Read Prov 1:20-33. How can He rebuke them for not having prayed to Him earlier?! That can only mean that God expects us to seek Him, even when we are unconverted. Besides nobody's prayers will ever be pure or perfect. That's why He has given us a Mediator in His Jesus Christ. Through Him alone can He hear any prayer.