When you know that you’ve done something wrong or offended someone, the feelings you get can be a very powerful deterrent to wanting to have a close and intimate conversation with that person. It is the guilt that makes you want to run away and hide. The ashamed first couple hid in the bushes when they heard God’s footsteps in the garden. When we are guilty of unconfessed and unforgiven sin, one of the first casualties is our desire to pray.
But, here is the beauty of a relationship with our God, it is based not on our performance and behavior but rather on His grace, that is, His decision to love and forgive us unconditionally. Jesus came to this earth not to pin medals on those spiritual superstars, but to rescue sinful and ashamed fools like you and me. He said once, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
When we become aware of our shortcomings, when our conscience makes us sick inside, when we are too ashamed to pray, that is the very best time to pray and to claim the forgiveness that was bought for us for just such a time. God’s mercy is bigger than all of our sins. He will never despise a broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17); in fact, His particular specialty is in the healing of broken hearts and providing rest for restless spirits like ours.