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Although sin by itself is not an impediment to the efficacy of prayer (or else none of us would receive a hearing from God), the Bible does indicate that known but unconfessed sin can hinder our prayers to God. The verse that I think speaks most directly to this is Psalm 66:18 ("If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened."). The problem is created not by the commission of sin as such, but by clinging to it and refusing to bring it out into the open by confessing it and then forsaking it. (And, of course, we are really not "fooling" God by failing or refusing to acknowledge and confess known sin. If we think we are, we are only deceiving ourselves (1 John 1:8-9).)
Below are a few verses that may answer your question. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" (Psalms 66:18) "The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous." (Proverbs 15:29) "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." (Proverbs 28:9) "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood." (Isaiah 1:15) "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." (John 9:31) "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3) "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17) I believe God wants to bless us more than we're willing to receive it but he does not change. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6). God's blessings reign through righteousness but not at the expense of. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
The Bible clearly states that the prayer of a sinner is an abomination to God. This then goes to show that any sin in our lives must be confessed for our prayers to be answered. After all, the Psalmist also stated that if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me (Ps. 66: 18). I am therefore of the opinion that confessing one's sin is a prerequisite to answered prayers. Remember, he that covers his sins shall not prosper (Proverbs 28:13))
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