I am the son of an Episcopal Priest. From my 43 years of experience, I feel prayer is powerful as fuck as a tool for self-analysis, self-understanding, and the strengthening of one's internal consciousness in the face of the horrors of the world.
I do not pray myself, but I appreciate people who honestly pray to their divinity for guidance or for peace of mind.
I cannot stand any asshole praying for a specific personal involvement of some sort of anthropomorphisized deity to affect the natural world around us somehow.
If we are conscious, the multi-verse is conscious, and so is every thing that has ever existed. prayer can be this consciousness talking to itself.
I do not like when people beg a deity to do this or that, or to save so and so, or to make sure our team wins, etc. when dozens of highly trained and rigorously vetted medical professionals save someone's life from a dreaded disease the families are always so quick to praise their deity for the miracle, and to me that insults the humanity within us that allows us to learn so much and share knowledge so that a team of experts can save your little girl from bone marrow cancer....