It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
The Bible tells us, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21 NKJV). We might think of idols as images like the little Diana statues from Ephesus. And they are, of course. But idols also can be other things.
An idol can be something that you drive. It can be something that you hold. Or, it can be some passion you have in life that’s more important to you than God Himself. An idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of the true and living God in your life. And if we allow things like these to crowd out God, it can bring our prayer lives to a halt.
Another thing that can hinder our prayers is unconfessed sin. Psalm 66 says, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18 NLT).
Also, in Isaiah 59 we read, “Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (verses 1–2 NLT).
God cannot forgive the sins we won’t confess.