From guest blogger, Maham.
What is used as an argument against the effectiveness of petitionary prayer is that God just isn’t listening to them, if he was then why aren’t all our prayers being answered? Such an argument is not too different from the one about there being less evil in the world. We seem to demand about acquiescence of God and from God, or we believe him to be either in effective or simply uninterested in mortal life and its woes.
We refuse to consider that God may be accepting prayers based on the balance of natural and moral evil that he must keep with the good in the world. Most prayer is against the existence of some kind of evil and the misery it causes, is it not? Thus the same arguments that apply and argue for the existence of evil would apply here as well. It is not that prayer is ineffective, God isn’t listening or a few unanswered prayers are a reason to reject the premise of prayer. We have to allow that sometimes many prayers will be rejected in lieu of a greater utilitarian good that God can view for the world but we simply cannot.