Will my prayers make a difference?
If this question is inquiring whether if I pray for a miracle– say for the recovery of a very ill friend – God will bring it about, I think our common experience makes it clear that the answer must be ‘No’, or ‘Only on very rare occasions’. But I have no way of knowing what makes God willing to perform some miracles and not others.
If the original question is whether God will respond to prayer in ways which do not require miracles but do make a genuine difference, I am sure that the answer is usually ‘Yes’.
We can pray for forgiveness, and if we sincerely do that, God will certainly respond in ways which will arouse our trust, or gratitude.
We can pray for God’s guidance when we are faced with a serious decisions; and I think such guidance is usually given once we have asked with true sincerity.
And in general, the more sincerely and deeply we pray to be truly open to God, the closer we will experience our relationship with God to be.
Gerard J Hughes SJ
See also What is prayer?