Prayers always work, if you know how to pray.
That said though, they all will still work even if you do not know how to pray, but in this case you probably might not recognise how they have worked for you.
What is prayer, how does it work, and what is the way to pray?
Prayer is self recognition in that it addresses the fatherly creator in such a way that you recognise that you originally came from him.
You achieve this self recognition by praying with an open heart, and also with an open mind. Both must be open to allow your prayer to effectively work.
The energy of love coming from your heart first powers your prayer into life, and then it sends it to God. Whilst by keeping an open mind, your mind then won't try to block the transmission, by throwing up its own doubts and feelings, that your prayer will never work, or that you are only ever just largely wasting your time by praying.
Pray with earnestness, and with the sincere feeling that you are connecting yourself to your father with a submitting attitude, but not a submissive one. There is a subtle difference between these two attitudes. The difference is seen in that submitting we are also accepting, and this shows within us as our possessing a certain humility of heart. Holding the second attitude only allows us to feel submissively dominated, and this in effect stops us from ever fully accepting our connection to God.
True humility is never about allowing any form of domination, or about our feeling submissive within a dismissive way.
True prayer never requests or asks anything of God.
Here is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, that great man of peace, and that sums up what I have been saying here, very nicely indeed.
'' Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.''
All we need ever do is to pray, and then to let God take care of the rest. This is putting the kingdom of God first in our lives, and by doing this, God will thereby supply all of our needs for us, and without us ever asking him to.
It was Buddha who reputedly said that the greatest prayer is patience. The truth of this statement ties in with my observation in the above paragraph.
Buddha simply meant here, that patience always answers all of your prayers, because given enough time, all prayers always come to fruition in you. God has created or planted his own prayer for you within your heart. You need this patience to allow it to be fully grown with and from his love, and patience is required to look after, and to nurture it, so that it doesn't get pulled out by your ego, or by your mind.
The greatest enemy of patience is always your own self.
Pray for patience and you need never pray for anything else. Patience brings forth answers, because all answers come to you only as you are ready to receive them. You must grow your prayer into the answers first, before the branches can ever bear their fruit for you. These fruit will be laden for you with the purpose and passion of your life's mission for God, that will now be being so clearly shown to you.
Prayers work because they keep us connected to God, and that is the only way that we work. We only work by working for God, and by serving him from the love that he has placed within us, in order for us to return that love to him, and to all others.
Prayer opens us to God, whilst love holds the doors open.
Prayer is faith in action. Prayers work, because we love. This is why Jesus advised us to love God with all of our hearts, our minds, and our souls. When we do this, we are living as a living prayer to God, and others will see this, and then know too, that prayers always, always do work.