So was it just an exercise in religion and nothing happened? Hardly! There are advances in the Kingdom of God that are not seen to the naked eye. The power of God is never seen in demonstrations of political power or economics. As a matter of fact we have a couple of verses to the contrary:
Here's to the power of prayer. Don't give up!
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) "So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."
1 Corinthians 2:4 (English Standard Version) "and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,"