Howdy brother A,
If prayer works, shouldn't there be different percentages of things happening for believers than there are for atheists and/or agnostics?
Maybe there are? I would imagine that to know those percentages would be to have the Mind of God; it's not for us mortals.
Shouldn't Christians have lower divorce raters, lower rates of dying from cancer, etc.?
But why, brother? Do our problems go away once we become Christians? That's not been my experience. After the Fall, all sorts of psychological and physical ailments have beset us. We may
be more aware of the problems such as pride, ego, and so on and so forth, but that doesn't necessarily mean we all address them any better than an atheist/agnostic. And doesn't God love everyone equally whether Christian or not? Just because I profess
to be a Christian, doesn't mean all my troubles go away. Again, that's simply not been my experience.
And if the answer is that God's will will be done, then why pray to begin with? Why not just let God do as he wills?
I've read in many places that when we pray "Thy will be done...", we're asking not only that His will will be done, but more importantly that we
will have the courage, patience, discernment and love to understand and carry out His will in our
lives. I can conceptually understand His will (which has been boiled down to "Love God with ALL of your heart and mind AND love your neighbor as you love yourselves..") but I rarely carry out His will.
I don't know too much about prayer; I know even less about why some prayers are (seemingly) answered and some are (seemingly) not. The only thing I can humbly suggest is to find an experienced monastic. Do you have any monasteries nearby? Most of us on this forum typically will not have the experience with prayer that an experienced monastic has. Try hard to find a Starets or Gerondas if at all possible (though this will be difficult). Lastly, everything in Orthodoxy is pointing us to Jesus. We may not ever get the answers we want, but we will get what we need when, like Peter walking with the Lord on the water, we keep our focus on Him. To love someone is to try and have a relationship with them and we all know that successful relationships depend on communication (a.k.a. prayer
.) FWIW, I'm praying for you bro!