"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness." Isaiah 59:1-3
When we have unconfessed sin in our lives, prayer is nothing more than an empty religious ritual. Before we can expect God to work on our behalf, we must deal with the sins that keep Him from responding to our prayers. The notion that we can live any way we want and expect God to bail us out of whatever goes wrong is not based in Scripture. Samson tried this approach while he was a judge of Israel, but he found disaster on the path of sin.
The sins that we may hide from the world are certainly not hidden from God, and they not only hinder our prayers but keep us from enjoying the relationship with our Father that we should. Sin does not take us out of God’s family, but it does take us out of the place of blessing. If there is sin, confession is the only prayer that will be effective.
Before we expect an answer to our prayers, we should make sure that there is nothing in our lives hindering them.