Sins are one of the factors that prevent a person’s du’a from being accepted. Therefore one of the ways that a person can increase the chances of their du’a being accepted is by repenting to Allah.
This repentance must be a sincere repentance, for all the previous sins that one has committed. We should have sincerity towards Allah, feeling guilty for the sins that we have performed, asking Allah’s forgiveness, and making a sincere determination not to return to that sin. Additionally, if the sin involved transgressing the rights of others, it is required to return those rights or an equivalent amount of good to the person from whom it was taken.
It is recorded in the Qur’an that the Prophet Nuh, peace be upon him, told his people:
“I told them, ‘Seek Allah’s forgiveness, for verily He is the One that forgives frequently. He will then send the skies upon you (with rain) in abundance. And He will increase your wealth and children, and bestow upon you gardens, and bestow upon you rivers.'” (Surah Nuh:10-12)
We are also told in the hadith of the one who made du’a to Allah while he was on a long journey, but whose prayer was rejected because he wronged himself and others. The only way to correct a state such as this is by repenting. And which of us is there who does not sin? Which of us is there who is not in need of repenting?