Prayer while being in a state of mortal sin

I’ve just been watching an EWTN program called Voices on Virtue and the priest mentioned that good deeds done while being not in a state of grace are not given any merit because the person doing the good deed is spiritually dead.
How does that apply to prayer? If someone is in a state of mortal sin but prays a lot daily, is that person just wasting his/her time because God won’t listen? Does God only listen to prayer from someone in a state of grace?

[quote=thistle]I’ve just been watching an EWTN program called Voices on Virtue and the priest mentioned that good deeds done while being not in a state of grace are not given any merit because the person doing the good deed is spiritually dead.
How does that apply to prayer? If someone is in a state of mortal sin but prays a lot daily, is that person just wasting his/her time because God won’t listen? Does God only listen to prayer from someone in a state of grace?
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God hears prayers while in mortal sin otherwise how can one get out of mortal sin. Prayers of repentance are how we ask for forgiveness of our sins and if God does not hear our prayers then how can we be forgiven. If we can’t be forgiven then we can’t regain grace after falling into mortal sin and therefore they can not be saved. So God hears the prayers of both those in the state of grace and those in mortal sin.

Amen. Remember, God wants you to pray. There is no greater form of personal worship than to pray and pray often.

The act of prayer is never ignored – especially by Satan. He hates it when pray and even if we are in mortal sin – we can still pray – it may not gain us as much glory, but it does make a difference in us.

Hmmm…

It makes sense that if I’m in a state of mortal sin and I pray for myself, to help me find courage to go to confession and stop the behaviors of sin in the future…

But what about my prayers for souls in purgatory or loved ones in my prayer circle at the time…

on one hand I could see why not having those count for as much as they could would be a further incentive for one to remain in a state of grace… having your prayers for others more important to you than yourself having ‘full’ benefit as opposed to partial benefit…

Certainly God listens to all prayer and wouldn’t not help others just because the person praying is struggling with mortal sin, but I wonder if our prayers have more ‘power’ in a full state of grace…

Is that why people are called to fast first, then go to confession before praying devotions for a specific cause - so that the prayers of the devotion are fully received???

[quote=YinYangMom]Hmmm…

It makes sense that if I’m in a state of mortal sin and I pray for myself, to help me find courage to go to confession and stop the behaviors of sin in the future…

But what about my prayers for souls in purgatory or loved ones in my prayer circle at the time…

on one hand I could see why not having those count for as much as they could would be a further incentive for one to remain in a state of grace… having your prayers for others more important to you than yourself having ‘full’ benefit as opposed to partial benefit…

Certainly God listens to all prayer and wouldn’t not help others just because the person praying is struggling with mortal sin, but I wonder if our prayers have more ‘power’ in a full state of grace…

Is that why people are called to fast first, then go to confession before praying devotions for a specific cause - so that the prayers of the devotion are fully received???
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Our prayers have no “power.” It is God’s power we invoke through them.

These “degrees of prayer power” is another example of some really good ones I’ve heard on these forums this week. “Degrees of hell” is another one.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re right. So, because someone is not in a “state of grace”, whatever that means, God will hold the ones PRAYED for responsible for that? He won’t help THEM as much because of what someone else did?

Makes me wonder about what kind of God we THINK we have here…thank God none of this is true.

Mike

[quote=mhansen]Our prayers have no “power.” It is God’s power we invoke through them.

These “degrees of prayer power” is another example of some really good ones I’ve heard on these forums this week. “Degrees of hell” is another one.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re right. So, because someone is not in a “state of grace”, whatever that means, God will hold the ones PRAYED for responsible for that? He won’t help THEM as much because of what someone else did?

Makes me wonder about what kind of God we THINK we have here…thank God none of this is true.

Mike
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You’re right, power is the wrong word…
perhaps ‘weight’ then???

Do prayers carry an amount of weight to them?

Otherwise, why the call for fasting and alms giving and confession in order to obtain indulgences?

Indulgences can be obtained for us or for others depending upon our request.

But if all the conditions aren’t meant, the indulgence isn’t granted…

so, if there are conditions for prayers from one in a state of grace, it would seem there would be conditions for when one is not in a state of grace.

All prayer is heard. That is certain. But, really, are some heard more than others???

I LOVE THESE BOARDS - Gosh, it really gets the mind going… :stuck_out_tongue:

I have often wondered about this.

I lived for several years in a state of mortal sin while I “rebelled” against the Church.

And yet every time I turned around, there was God, especially when I was in the midst of my sin.

The graces are there and by those graces, we continue praying. We do nothing on our own; the Lord calls us and gives us the grace to arise in the morning and the grace to pray whether for ourselves or others. And those prayers are ALWAYS heard.

I heard it somewhere, though, if we carry out a work which would obtain special grace while we are in the state of mortal sin, the grace is witheld until we recieve the sacrament of Confession.

For example: let’s take a firefighter in Louisiana, who maybe committed a mortal sin, couldn’t make it to Confession and is unlikely to do anyting other than help refugees for days. A Extraordinary Minister happens to find this person and offers Communion, which the firefigher accepts. He/she is in mortal sin; yet interiorly they are aware of their sin and know that they need to go to Confession ASAP…but how many days before he/she will even get to Mass? The grace of Communion and the prayers that go with it are still there…yet witheld. When that person in question gets the opportunity, maybe still there at the scene of devastation, finds a priest and Confesses, they recieve not only the grace of forgiveness but the grace from Communion.

Maybe this isn’t the best way to explain it but it helps me, and a similar scenario was used on EWTN as applying to a soldier or someone living in a country where religion is suppressed.

I hope someone else can explain this in a better manner.

Just keep in mind…God can always hear you. Even when we reject him, he does not reject us. When we commit mortal sin, it is our act of turing from God. When we are ready to reconcile or make efforts, he is always ready to listen.

Your example makes sense for someone who is unable to receive the sacrament or confession because of reasons outside his/her control.

I’m thinking about Catholics who contracept or who are in sexual relationships outside of marriage and still receive communion, are active in their church, pray the rosary with the rosary circle of parishioners, etc.

Certainly their prayers are heard, and I’d hate to think the people they are praying for with those rosaries won’t benefit from their prayers, but what if the grace from all their good deeds and prayers are withheld until they go to confession? Has anyone told them this??? Do you think it would get people like that to think twice about going against Church teaching???

I would find it hard to believe that our prayers don’t work. Yet, if a person is in the state you describe (living and believing contrary to the Church’s teaching yet still claiming to be a Catholic) then I wonder how they can be praying “in His name” (ref. Matt 18:15-20). That’s not to say that the prayers aren’t heard (I don’t know!) but rather that the person’s union with the Church is extremely deficient. If it was somebody who just made a big mistake (sin) and is trying to recover from that, then those prayers would certainly be heard, I think.

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