[God responds to]...prayers...offered by those who are thoroughly convicted of their sin and shame, but, at the same time, are convinced of God’s grace that goes out to undeserving sinners.It's when we're broken by the reality of our sin and the depths of our need for God in desperate circumstances--even in the smallest of circumstances, that we learn to truly pray and in dependence on the charity (the grace) and love of God.
King David, confronted for his sins of adultery and murder, confessed his sins. Psalm 51 expresses David's contrition, his abject helplessness, and his total confidence in the grace of God. In verse 17, he says:
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.Verses like that and, most certainly, the death and resurrection of God in the flesh, Jesus, should give us confidence that, in a memorable phrase from an old Curtis Mayfield song, there's no such thing as a "hopeless sinner."
God will not tolerate sin in His presence. We cannot enter eternity covered and filled with them. But we can be made clean by the God Who died for our sins on a cross and rose from death to open the way to reconciliation and peace with God. You may feel "less than the least," but through Christ, you can turn to God in repentance and have your life made new. That's good news!