Prayer makes us gentle. If, as Nilus said, prayer is the seed of gentleness, then it is the root of empathy. We pray for others trusting God's mysterious workings in our world. God wills to work with us and that is why we are called to pray for our world. Our prayer promotes action in our world.
This is often misunderstood. When we pray, we open ourselves to the needs of others. Prayer puts us in a position to act on those needs. We pray for others in order that we might be for them an answer to prayer. Howard Thurman says it best:
The person who shares their concern for others with God in prayer does [this]... She exposes the need of the other person to her total life and resources, making it possible for new insights of helpfulness and creativity to emerge in her. In other words she sees more clearly how to relate herself to the other person's need.
When we pray for others, we are softened to the other person. We consider their situation and meditate on the best way to relate to them in their hour of need. When we pray we become gentle, we participate in God's peacemaking in this world.