I think I have developed a personal theory on answers to prayers, based on my own personal experience. I feel like prayer has been more like a window into my own heart's desires, not necessarily communication from God.
I haven't ruled out the possibility of communication from God. I just don't think I have tapped into that source so far. Perhaps with the exception of the times when I have felt pure love.
My aunt's funeral got me pondering about life after death one night. So much so, that I woke up at 6am to search the internet for stories about life after death experiences. I found several stories that invoved hospital patients who saw family and friends who had passed away (in some cases the patient was not aware the the people had passed away already) in the room with them. It was understood that they were there to help them with the journey from this life to the next. There was also the common thread about those who say they saw a vast, soft light that opened into the alternate universe of the afterlife. There were several that I wanted to read further, but the power shut down and Guy called me back to bed. That might be something for me to look into while at work tomorrow durring my down time, which there is a lot of.