My grandpa, I man I deeply respect, lies dying from colon cancer a million miles away from me. He is not expected to survive the night. My own father passed away unexpectedly roughly the same time last year and I never got to see him before he died. I feel so powerless, so impotent. It makes sense that people pray in situations like this.
I will not, of course, since I understand them to be more harmful than good and would go unanswered on the other side even if I did stoop to such self-deception, but I get it that prayers at least feel like they're doing something while as an atheist rationality forces me to realize I've done all I can. Still, I hate this feeling of powerlessness.