Praying is sometimes so hard. I pray, sometimes for years, for people, situations, etc. with no visible improvement. Do the prayers matter? I believe that they do. They may not change the physical realities, but I do trust that they change the spiritual ones.
I know that, at times, I have been the great beneficiary of prayer. There have been times when I have truly felt a peace that I know did not come from my own power. Prayer leads to acceptance of God's will in situations that are often completely out of our control.
So, I'm going to keep praying, even when it seems to my human eyes that the prayers are serving no purpose. God knows the prayers are there and He can do with them what He wills. The act of praying can change the world.
This passage from Pausing To Pray Lenten Meditations for Busy People for today was just what I needed to hear:
What can I do for you, Lord Jesus? What can I do? I am really a small one. How can my life change anything? And yet, in some mysterious way, my life can change the world. Through intercessory prayer, I can touch people all over the world. You are God and I am a creature, yet You ask me to seek You out, to converse with You, to ask You for anything. No petition is too small for You or too difficult for You. Today, Jesus, let me remember those I love who are far from You. I beg Your graces upon them. My trust is in You, O Lord.