God is perfect, and in communion with Him we would be perfect. This perfection is not something we can attain through our own power. We are shown this in the Old Testament. The Law was not designed to be hard, but to bring us back into communion with God. Since it is not possible for us to follow it exactly--since we are guilty of it all because of partial disobedience--we need a Saviour.
In Jesus, God took on the form of a man and lived a sinless life on earth. Isaiah said of him, "Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him. By his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53) This is what happened at Calvary. Jesus endured the separation from God that we deserve, taking the grief and sorrow that accompany sin with him. Guilt is no longer ours to bear. Hopelessness is no longer ours to bear. Futility and worthlessness are no longer ours to bear.
Jesus' death is important because it is cleansing. His life is important because it gives us hope. His resurrection shows his power over sin and the enemy. His life through the Holy Spirit, which is active in the lives of many people today, enables us to live in communion with God.
I believe that God hears every prayer, no matter who prays, and that He responds according to the condition of the person's heart. He cares about all of us, and He would not withhold His kindness from anyone. He only places one restriction on eternal life: it is only obtained through Jesus. I don't condemn anyone who does not believe in Jesus--this is not my place. I do wonder what keeps people from him. Life in him enables me to recognize that there is good in all situations and that there is life beyond this imperfect place.
If I submit to Jesus, I communicate that I want to live in the place He has prepared for me. (John 14:6) If I do not submit, I force him to reject me because he would never force himself on anyone.