Does God “regularly” answer prayers of non believers? I had a couple of friends who I wonder if they are saved, but they were praying for me. Scriptures say that God hears the prayers of the righteous (I understand the “righteous” to be those who are saved James 5:16, 1 Pet 3:12, Ps 34:17, Proverbs 15:29 etc). Also an unbeliever could ask a prayer that is according to Gods will. We also have the example of the Caananite woman( mat 15:21-28) asking Jesus to heal her daughter and the centurion (mat 8:5-13) who brought his request to Jesus and he obliged. The people of Nineveh prayed too and God answered their prayers. Besides God is sovereign and compassionate and cares about people, so is it possible that he would answer prayers of anyone who is sincerely praying to him who may not be a true Christian?
I believe you have already answered the question for yourself. Let me add just a couple of thoughts. Obviously, a saved person has a more intimate relationship with God than a person who has not yet been saved, but it is also obvious that God can hear the prayers of sinners. John 9:31 (“we know that God does not hear the prayers of sinners”) has been used to teach that God does not hear the prayers of sinners, but this man is spouting his opinion–not speaking with authority. Isaiah 59:2 has also been used (“your sins have hidden his face from you”), but this lack of hearing is a relative thing, as I understand it, and as you yourself have pointed out. God listens more attentively to the prayers of the saved, with whom he has a close relationship and in whom the Holy Spirit lives. We can point out dozens of examples of the Bible reporting God hearing the prayers of those who are not “Christians” in the New Testament and those who are not of God’s people (the Jews) in the Old Testament. My personal favorite example is Acts 10:1-6 in which Cornelius is told in no uncertain terms that his prayers and gifts to the poor had gotten God’s attention.