Find Yourself a Mentor
Learn to fear this godly man when he is angry. Be pained at his groaning. Respect him as you learn to put a stop to what causes his anger. Anticipate him when he is pleading against your punishment. Let him spend many sleepless nights out of concern for you, interceding with God for you, influencing the Father with the magic of his familiar prayers. For the Father does not hold out against his children when they beg for his pity. And your mentor will pray for you in a pure manner, held in high honor as an angel of God. He'll be grieved not at you, but for you. This is sincere repentance. "God is not mocked." (Gal. 6:7) Nor does He give heed to vain words. Only He can search the depths of our hearts. He hears those who are in the fire. He listens to those who pray from the whale's belly. He is near to everyone who believes, but he's far from the ungodly if they do not repent."
Clement of Alexandria