"See, the LORD's hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Rather, your inquiries have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he does not hear."
"The LORD Is merciful & gracious, slow to anger & abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us."
These two passages were part of my daily devotional reading today. The first reminds me that God CAN save and help us through anything. God's hand is not too short to reach us! BUT (and this is a big 'but'!) our actions/sins play a big role in the effectiveness of our prayers. WE can't just live however we want and expect God to bail us out whenever we call. Our actions have definite ramifications - both in the physical realm and in the spiritual realm.
And yet... Psalm 103 reminds met hat my sins don't trump God's grace and mercy. He does not give us what we deserve. He is gracious & merciful and he willingly takes our sins away from us (as far as the east is from the west... I love that phrase!). The key, I think, is acknowledging our sins... and having a humble heart. God will forgive. God will cleanse. If only we'll let him.