Does God hear our prayers if we aren’t in the state of grace?

“Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him… Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us – that is, charity – necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1855, 1856)

Mortal sin is a sin of serious and grave nature that is committed with full knowledge of its gravity and is committed with deliberate consent. It effectively the grace of God in the heart of the sinner. So if that’s the case, how can we ever hope to turn back to God and begin again?

Listener John called in to Father Simon Says to ask about praying when not in the state of grace.

“I’ve been wondering, if you’re not in the state of grace, does God still give you graces and answer prayers?”

“Certainly!” replied Fr. Simon. “God hears all prayers.”

As St. Alphonsus said, “He who prays is certain to be saved, while he who prays not is certain to be damned. All the saints were saved and came to be saints by praying; all the accursed souls in hell were lost through neglect of prayer.”

Praying, in itself, is a form of turning back to God. God hears all prayers, especially those of people in need, and there are none in more need than those whose souls are in danger of eternal damnation. God doesn’t force anybody to embrace Him or the path to salvation, so a conversion or reversion always requires action on the part of the condemned. Praying is a common first step on that journey.

“Just as if you had a child who had run away from home and was lost and in bad straits, you would certainly answer the phone if they called and do what you thought was best for them. So yes, God hears all prayers.”

God is all-merciful. He understands that we are imperfect beings, and He will give us every opportunity to turn back to Him before we die. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools in finding our way to God because it is direct communication with Him. So, whenever you run away from God, get lost, or find yourself in dire straits, turn to prayer and the sacraments to find your way home.

Tune in to Father Simon Says weekdays at 1pm CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.