Calling into the dark can be frightening. The unknown can be like a tendril in our minds feeding doubt on a number of subjects. So what of prayer? So what of God's answers to prayer? Many Christians face this question honestly and with some doubt. There is a feeling of "unknown" on the subject of prayer's efficacy.
The instruction of Jesus Christ on prayer reminds us to pray the promises of God back to Him. This is faithfulness of heart — dependence upon our savior. What follows is an excerpt from The Lord's Prayer: A Family Devotion,
In a house with three children under the age of four, I often hear “help please” or its equivalent. Judah, our mild child, often just gets out “help” with an emphatic rubbing of his belly (the sign for “please”). Our children take after me in the difficulty department, which means it takes a team effort by my wife and I to accommodate the full range of their needs. This is our daily duty as parents of young children. They constantly need us. This is an imperfect example of how we must daily seek God and how he responds to our prayers.
In Psalm 18, God responds with rumblings , thunderstorms, and meltings—my example clearly pales in comparison. Couple that symbolism with the encouraging doctrine taught by James (Jas. 5:16) and Peter (1 Pt. 3:7) on the effectiveness of prayer. The Bible aggressively puts forward the view that prayer changes things. Our God is a God who answers prayer. This God-act is what makes prayer effective. And James comforts us by teaching this occurs even for “a man with a nature like ours” (Jas. 5:17).
But is prayer always efficacious? Does God always answer? Does He always say yes? These are the type of practical questions people have. Is any prayer offered to God successful? Let me answer quickly—Yes, when we ask in agreement with God’s promises. God always answers “yes” when His promises are echoed back to Him (2 Cor. 1:20). God’s promise ensures us of this answer.