This is my acknowledgment that I am not only human but sinful and in need of cleansing. Evelyn Underhill says our trespasses are our "voluntary share in the world's sinfulness." My shortcomings and excesses, debts and trespasses, my meanness and fear and envy, my selfishness of whatever sort --all these have their deleterious effect on those I love, those I live or work with, and on the world in general.
It seems that God must often delay the answer to our prayers for special guidance because we have already chosen a path of disobedience in that or some other matter. It is not reasonable to expect to be shown the right way when we deliberately continue in what we know is the wrong one. We must repent, which means to turn around. Go back to the point of departure. Then pray to be shown the path of God's will.
God's Guidance by Elisabeth Elliot