Prayer is a spiritual discipline I could never live without. I am a firm believer and practicer of prayer, knowing and experiencing myself that it works.
Prayer is so wonderfully taught by Jesus as a tool for many purposes.
It is one way of blessing your enemies:
Matthew 5:44-45 (KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
It is one way of communing with your Father:
Matthew 6:6 (KJV) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
It is one way of advancing God’s Kingdom on Earth:
Matthew 6:9-10 (KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
It is one way of multiplying labourers for the Kingdom of God:
Matthew 9:37-38 (KJV) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
It is one way of casting out demons:
Matthew 17:21 (KJV) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
It is one way of receiving from God:
Matthew 21:22 (KJV) all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Regarding if God has answered any of my prayers, yes, He has answered yes to many, no to some, and wait for the most.
We prayed for my uncle so he could walk normally without relying for some support. That was, after receiving a vision from God to pray for him to walk. After praying for him, he walked normally! Praise God!
I did not review well enough for my Board Exam for Professional Teaching, because I prioritized the ministry. God granted that I pass with a high score after praying.
We prayed for an old woman who was near blind. After praying, she could walk well in the dark without any guidance! Hallelujah!
We prayed for some sick babies and after the prayers, immediately, the fever left them!
We prayed in thanksgiving for a meal in a table, though there was no meal present. After the prayer, a friend knocked in the door and gave a meal.
After several days of prayer and fasting, I was freed from the spirit of fear that was holding me back to witness to my family. After receiving a certain vision, I ended my fasting and I was freed from the gripping fear.
A veterinary nurse declared my girl puppy to be dead. I got the puppy after an hour, wrapped in an airtight plastic. After praying and crying, the dead puppy girl was resurrected to life!
I still have many real life samples of how God answers prayers, from the smallest to the biggest ones. But the greatest benefit of prayer to me though, is close communion with God.