"Until we fully acknowledge the chaos within us that the Bible calls sin, we live in what Calvin calls 'unreality.' Counselors will tell you that the only character flaws that can really destroy you are the ones you won't admit. Crucial to true prayer, then, is confession and repentance. Again, prayer both requires and produces this humility. Prayer brings you into God's presence, where our shortcomings are exposed. Then the new awareness of insufficiency drives us to seek God even more intensely for forgiveness and help. Calvin writes: 'those who seek him with all their hearts will find him (Jer 29:13-14)...Lawful prayer, therefore, demands repentance.' If you are smug, blaming others for your problems rather than taking responsibility for what you have done wrong, you will not be seeking God with all your heart. Prayer both requires and empowers the abandonment of self-justification, blame shifting, self-pity, and spiritual pride.
To the degree you can shed the 'unreality' of self-sufficiency, to that degree your prayer life will become richer and deeper." - Tim Keller, Prayer