I'm glad I believe in God too, I'm trying to work out who he is and what he is, though. I'm glad I believe prayer actually does something for people.
I would caution against overconfidence in the power of prayer. Prayer is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you can pray really hard for something and still not get it (or get the opposite). This doesn't mean that God isn't listening -- just that He knows better than we do what is good for us, and that His long-term plans may involve short-term things that we perceive as negatives (and if you believe in eternal life, as all good Catholics do, our entire earthly life is "short-term"). There's an old saying that God always answers prayers, but often the answer is "no". Whenever I pray "for" something (even when I was praying for Laura's recovery), I try to remember to add at the end: "But Your will be done, not mine." God doesn't need to be told that, of course, but it's good to remind ourselves.
(and thanks for your prayers again, Grasshopper)
I know I'm relatively newer to the Church and I am learning more and more every day about my faith, but since I've come back to it, I discovered just about immediately that God isn't a cosmic vending machine. He doesn't always give us what we want, which is what vending machines are technically designed to do. Sometimes, He even gives us something very different than what we'd expect. We can't (and really shouldn't) send up a prayer, and expect something back. Prayer is an ongoing relationship and a huge part of it is saying thank you to Him for His mercy, and another huge part of it is realizing that we don't know what He has in store for us, but trusting Him anyways. Sometimes God says yes. Sometimes it's no. Sometimes, it's "wait". Occasionally, it's "wait on Me", in general... and sometimes it's complete and utter silence. We have to trust even the silence. It doesn't mean that God hasn't heard us. It means He's doing something in His own way and time and we're just not supposed to understand it yet.
I've come to accept that some things, we can't, don't and won't know, on this side of eternity. Other things, we will. But whether we know them now or later, God's in life and in death and I am genuinely not afraid of either because He's in both. And yes, He "plays hardball" with us. Why not? We're not so special. We're not on any type of pedestal. He loves us, and we're His, but He loves the millions of others in the world who are currently getting hit with earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, fires, floods, starvation, etc. He loves those people just as much. And I don't think He asks any LESS of us than He does of them, which is just to trust that sometimes we won't see any kind of justice in THIS world.... but that's okay, we were not created for this world. We were created for eternity. The sooner we see that, the sooner we'll see that there's an alternative to "this world is so gosh darn unfair!" -- yes, it is. And there's a reason why we can still continue to live in it, and trust Jesus Christ.