Does God really answer prayers?
Living in Utah, I am always hearing of experiences where God has answered someone's prayers. Of course the answer might not be what they wanted to hear, but the prayer was answered nonetheless.
My personal view is that God does not answer prayers. I feel that we are placed here on earth to make our way through on our own. In other words, God does not interfere.
Take the example of the little girl that is kidnapped, abused, and then killed. She prays to God to save her, or for her parents to find her, but nothing happens. This is a sincere prayer from a trusting innocent child. This story is all over the news until finally a lifeless body is found with signs of what happened in the last moments of life. The family members are devistated. Months later, a young boy goes missing during a camping trip. For days the family and volunteers search for him to no avail. After a couple of days, he is found safe and uninjured though dehydrated and hungry. He says he prayed that he would be found and God answered his prayers.
I don't think God interfered in either case (these are both fictional cases). How could a loving God interfere in some cases and ignore others. How could so many innocent children die of starvation or disease in 3rd world countries if there was a God that could/would interfere on occasion? In my oppinion, he doesn't interfere at all. We are on our own in this world.