I believe in the power of prayer. If we ask God, he responds to our requests and works on our behalf. Prayer can move the proverbial mountain and lead to unexplainable miracles.
I also believe prayer has its limits.
You cannot eat thousands of calories and sit on the couch watching TV all evening and pray for God to keep you thin. You cannot have a child who never practices and pray that God will get him to the NBA. You cannot compile lousy decision upon terrible decision and expect God to override the consequences. You cannot spend your life going in one direction and ask God to help you end up in a destination that is 180 degrees the other way. God does not answer your prayers and ignore your actions. You cannot out pray bad behavior.
My encouragement for anyone is to pray more on the front end of life. Here is what I mean: before you go out and do something, ask God to guide you. Then follow his word and listen to the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Act in ways that attempt to do his will in everything. Don’t just run out and do whatever you want and then pray on the back end that God will make it alright. Seek his will before you act. Then your prayers will align with your actions, and both will be more effective.