Personal experience has assured me that prayer works. From casual to critical needs, I have received answers again and again, and can personally testify that when you ask in faith God will hear your prayer.
Those who keep records of the prayers they make will find that prayers are usually answered. Yes, some answers may linger.
Those few unanswered prayers were never supposed to be, and time always verifies that they were never supposed to be.
I feel like it gets people motivated, much like the placebo effect. It is not the prayer itself necessarily, but what the prayer represents. Maybe that prayer is what gives someone the courage/motivation/heart to do something they otherwise would have given up on. Just my two-cents. I don't think it works 100%, but I think it does give a mental edge to those that truly believe it and use that faith to work hard.
From my experience prayer DOES work to establish a relationship with God. I know this because as a teenager I use to prayer for hours each night and now as an adult God constantly communicates with me through coincidences and experiences. However, I now believe that God only answers prayer when we take initiative in life to do something! God will not lift a finger for us if we don't an active effort in trying to get something done!
The main reason prayer doesn't work for most is not only because the only time they focus on god is on Sunday. Not only because they don't have enough faith to wait sometimes a year for what they asked for. But also because most churches go against the teaches of the 12 disciples and Jesus himself. To repent be baptized and receive the gift of the holy ghost. A lot of church's ignore acts 2:38 and ignore the red print. They say oh the read print isn't what you focus on you focus on the black. If god didn't want us to focus on the red which is what Jesus said himself then why would he put it in the bible? If you ask a preacher that he will try to come up with some complicated reason that isn't in the bible, and doesn't make sense.
That's the reason why the less popular religions like apostolic tend to have more miracles then the more popular ones like Catholic because they have the power which comes through the holy ghost and they don't just teach on things like "just pray to god and everything will be alright" " you are just as fine as you are" "just believe in god and you will go straight up to heaven"
Complicated excuse for no holy ghost: A lot of churches have a complicated excuse for why this isn't need that isn't found anywhere in the bible. Sometimes the excuse can be even more complicated then atheist reasoning for how the world was formed and where we came from. Kind or ironic is it not?
The reason prayer does not work for most of you is because you just go to church pray, read the bible, and you don't fast, receive the holy ghost, get baptized in Jesus name or do any other practices. That;s the reason the churchs that actually have miracles tend to be apostolic or the less popular religions that actually practice this.
A lot of religions claim you don't need the holy ghost and come up with some complicated explanation saying why that's not found anywhere in the bible, kind of ironic is it not? It tends to be awe most as complicated as the way atheist try to explain things.
It is obviously true that prayer will not work without faith. Faith is required for your supplications to be answered. However, your answer may not be what you expected; it could be entirely different. According to the Holy Bible, faith alone is not sufficient enough. One needs to have faith with works. Therefore, if one prays, that person must put effort into achieving the supplications. Thus, one needs to have patience when it comes to prayer.
Now, I understand that sometimes, prayers are not answered the way people expect them to be. For instance, people pray for their parents to live a longer life, but the next thing you know, their parents die on the next day. Does this mean God is cursing you? It could be. Does it mean God hates you? No! Listen, according to the Holy Bible, God does hate anyone, for He is slow to anger. However, you must accept the fact that we live in a world full of hardships, trials, and difficulties. That is a fact-it is foolish to think you will have an easy life forever on this world. The hardships, trials, and difficulties God sends upon us is to prove our faith in Him.
Thus, God understands your wants and needs. People are praying to become richer, be in a romantic relationship with someone, or other various wants. Do you really think God will give you what you want? Yes. He will, but it is up to Him whether or not He should give you your wants. As for your needs, God understands you need food, shelter, clothing, and many more. Do not worry about your needs, but have faith (with works), and God will bless you more than you need.
Well just did a little of searching and found many studies that state prayer helps, science cannot explain why but there seems to be something. Here is a good article about a University of Wisconsin study in 2010 and how it helps. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214085328.htm
so it appears that science would say yes
I know a lot of people, including myself who can guarantee that the prayer works in Jesus Name. People get healed, people get jobs, people's hearts are restored and renewed. We all find peace and rest in the prayer to God, who then sends us all we need. Prayer Works Today because God didn't change.
Prayer is inspiring. If you can't help a situation directly, you can give people hope. Even if prayer has never worked as intended, it helps people review a situation and inspire others to act even if they cannot. I'ts better than doing nothing. Community is something that humans all share, and prayer helps establish and strengthen this community. There's nothing wrong with hoping.
Prayer rather a neutral thing and doesn't have any physical consequence. However, prayer can help people who have depression or suffering from stress. For example, many WWII British Veterans find themselves praying, although not religious, while hiding in foxholes. Prayer (if done correctly) can slow down the haywire thoughts and allows the brain to calm down and make coherent decisions. Buddhist monks in Nepal, Thailand and India are taught that if they were to face a dilemma, meditation (many consider it as a form of prayer) can vivid your thoughts. This goes the same for virtually every religion.
Prayers, however, are practically useless if you think things are going to be summoned for you simply because you pray. Like what 'whatledge' said, prayer is a placebo, and placebos have proven it's effectivity in many studies. When given a placebo pill and telling the test subject that they are aspirins, most of the subjects experience relief from headaches even though they were given a no-pill.
But it does give people science cannot offer: hope. When people have a bad thing happen to them, or they are maybe unsure about life, have something going on, they can pray. Praying gives them the hope that something out there is helping them make it through, giving them the confidence and self esteem that's they will.
According to the Bible prayer is meant to work, yet the science shows it doesn't so the logical conclusion is that prayer does not work. If prayer worked I am gathering everyone would get everything they ever wanted, yet people still die when prayed for and people still go hungry when they pray for food.
Am I having sex with Emma Watson right now? No I am not, im doing the same thing I do every sunday night.... Eating ice cream, being fat and lazy, screwing around on DDO due to insomnia, and dreading having to go back to school and waking up before 2pm on a regular basis again.....
The largest and most scientifically rigorous study of prayer's efficacy, the 2006 STEP project, found no significant difference whether subjects were prayed for or not, except some negative effects among those who knew they were receiving prayers. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
It shows that it doesn't work or it might actually hurt a bit. http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html
Guess what? Millions of people still suffer and die from cancer every year. Even though it is a selfless request that would benefit the whole human race, it was not answered. No signs of anything saying that it was heard. The only hope for people with diseases are the hardworking scientists that go to work every day to search for a cure. I have prayed for other things as well and they have never been fulfilled. Rigorous testing of prayer proves that it does not work. Any results are not related to the act of praying. Prayer does not work.
I used to be a catholic person, however I converted when I finally realized how much mumbo jumbo was involved in religion. I was believing something which has absolutely no basis besides a book we worship for some reason. And when I prayed, I prayed with every fiber of my soul, but nothing happened. Nothing got better. So I would definitely have to say that prayer does not work just as religion does not work.
When people pray, they may be seeking help for a medical need or they are in a time of crisis. Now think of all the people who live in unbearable conditions. People who are going through mental and emotional distress. Peoples whose body is racked with disease and parasite go to pray to no avail.
But all the time you hear these cancer survivors saying prayer worked and god helped them. Why would that be? A cancer patient in a treatment facility with help at their finger tips having their prayers answered in the form of the cancer no coming back yet millions of people in India and Africa who live in terrible conditions who are starving and living with parasites don't have their prayers answered.
It is a delusion, your cancer or any other disease getting miraculously cured with a few simple words while you are given actual treatment in the form of radiation and other practices. And it is supposed to be those words that work not the treatment in the form of medicine.
That is the problem with prayer. Now, can prayer be proven to work in any logical and scientific sense? If it does, why wouldn't it work for the people in Africa and the slums of India?
The first main reason why I don't think prayer works is because as an Atheist myself I do not believe there is a God in this cosmos, this is he reason why I do not think prayer will lead to any success or winnings. Prayer in my eyes is just a waste of time that could be used for something more productive. If you need help them ask a family member, maybe a friend or seek help from a local council or other people.
Given a person who has a desire to be helpful but lacks the means to provide support, or is unwilling to provide support due to undisclosed limitations, prayer is an escape route to afford them some comfort that they are doing "something" when they can do nothing. It is a self calming tool. There are no credible, valid, repeatable, scientific studies demonstrating that prayer influences outcomes.
If prayer was truly effective, the dead would rise and be returned to their families, hospitals would be nearly empty, and no one would be homeless, hungry, or in pain. It's obvious that prayer has no efficacy since no amputees are regrowing lost limbs, among other things. Prayer may give comfort to those who are suffering but it won't put food on a table for the hungry or build a house for the homeless. That's up to and done by people. If prayers are answered its because there are good people that do it, not some mythical deity.