Every once in a while we discover the power of prayer. Sometimes we see it in people who pray. It is recommended to us to 'pray unceasingly'. I was reading a text in french, and the reality of prayer was illustrated with these facts.
Once Jesus said that he saw satan fall like a lighning from the sky. And St. Paul said that God put us on heavenly places. St. John 15:7: If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you. It is by prayer that we get to abide in the Lord and stay above, far from the fallen angels and their influences and harrassement. When we pray constantly we are lifted hight above sin.
But when we don't pray the reverse happens.
This is what St. Francis de Sales says of prayer:
Prayer opens the understanding to the brightness of Divine Light, and the will to the warmth of Heavenly Love--nothing can so effectually purify the mind from its many ignorances, or the will from its perverse affections. It is as a healing water which causes the roots of our good desires to send forth fresh shoots, which washes away the soul's imperfections, and allays the thirst of passion.
Read the rest here.
Some people may argue with me, but... have you noticed how many changes occured in the World with the coming of Jesus? Civilization had come and fallen for thousands and thousands of years. But after Jesus sent his desciples to fish people and teach the whole world that there is one God, the constant of history changed. A new constant of unity emerged. The Church teaching and calling all people into herself introduced an new spirit of universal brotherhood. I am not putting other churches down, but when I read Roman Catholic Church in Wikipedia (particularly point 6), the role of monks point to the role of prayer in the course of history.
Sometimes I see great saints as generals of God. The more vigorous orders or movements in the world are also the most prayful. One example is the franciscan of St. Francis of Assisi.
Today the world is running away from prayer, but it is also falling apart. There is not doubt that it will soon or later come back to the Church. This time not trough conquests, but through a spiritual renewal of the world.