i'm sure it has value in a meditation sense...like i'm sure you get alot out of the quiet concentration and contemplation..maybe even calling upon your inner strength. but actual prayer often requires belief that someone or something will _answer_ your prayer and make the thing you're praying for happen/come true.
that just doesn't seem to happen most of the time...i mean i don't pray and i'm sure that the things i want/hope for come to me at about the same rate of success/failure as the average person who does pray.
how many people were praying for those miners? how many people prayed for tsunami and Katrina victims?
i think prayer helps the person who's praying feel stronger, calmer and maybe more optimistic. and that's definitely a good thing in a crisis situation. But when things turn out well and someone says "our prayers were answered", i can't help but roll my eyes. Like even if i did believe in God, i'd never be so self-centered as to think that he/she actually has time/inclination to do what i ask. The universe is too vast. I'm a grain of sand on a beach, so to speak. Insignificant in the bigger picture. i mean really.
Besides that, in the realm of the universe, death is not a "tragedy". Its simply a part of existing. everything begins and ends. the beginning nor the end is any kind of anomaly. so i would then further assume that God would not see an impending human death as something to alter. Its a normal occurence. that would be like God attempting to stop a glass vase from falling off a countertop. Why? It just is what it is.