I am glad you commented. The fact that you are in this forum at all and took the time to me shows you are not totally closed to God.
I was raised in a strict Baptist family also, and I wondered away as soon as I got away from home. I learned that what I was taught from the bible about life was correct. I found my way back, or I should say God pulled me back. The strictness of the Baptist church kind of put me off. I am in a great bible church now and loving it and the Lord.
No one should be an outcast if their eyes are not open. Everyone is in that place at some point. Christ came to save the lost. If you are an outcast then those who treat you that way need to get right with God, because it was not Christ's way. The religious Jews thought that way, and Christ did not go easy on them for that type of talk.
You make a lot of common points about what some consider to be good sound arguments against the existence of God. Someone who knows their bible, history, archaeology................. better than I could give you so much data your head would be swimming. I will just hit the highlights.
There are certain things in the bible that you will not fully understand as a human on the earth. God made you from dirt. Do you really thing the created can fully understand the power that crated it? Go make you a mud man and see if you can get him to understand you. God doesn't go into somethings further because you would just be confused even more. Even if it was explained fully you still need faith; that is what it all comes down to. More data will not help you there. The bible has what you need. Don't worry about where God comes from because once you know God exists and your life is altered does it really matter?
God knows the future (your future). However, He did not purposely created an imperfect species. Man was perfect and without sin when created, but had freedom of choice. There is a difference between knowing what will happen and making it happen. God uses all things to bring glory to him and to work out his plan, but He doesn't make you do what you do. He just allows it and uses it to the final end. It was man's free will to sin. It was not God's desire. With God's help I made a couple kids. I see their choices, and I know what those choices will bring. I try to teach them better. I don't make them do those things or make the outcome happen. I made them even though I know they will suffer in life and die. They could even reject God and go to hell. However, I see real spiritual growth in them not just going along with the flow like you and I did as kids. Wow, I must not really care or love them!? I tell them what it right, they make a bad choice, and I let them suffer the consequences so they will learn and grow. Would you rather be a robot? What glory would God get from being served by those who have no choice at all? How good would your friends or wife be to you if they were with you without any choice in it? Angels know God without question. There is no faith issues there and they probably don't know where God came from exactly. The fallen ones still made a choice and will pay for it.
Those who call out to God, but don't have a personal relationship with Christ have no prayer power unless it is the prayer for salvation. Even those who are saved, but who's hart is not right have little prayer power. The bible is very clear about that. God is not a magic lamp to grant all your wishes. Prayer should always be in the form of God's will. Sometimes it is in God's will and sometimes it is not. Answers to prayer can be yes, no, or wait. God's timing is not always our timing. Some things happen, we want out, but God has a plan, and getting out of it is not in that plan. Sometimes what we want to pray our way out of is something that is a consequence of our actions, and we need to suffer it. Remember my example of my children? We don't learn much if we get bailed out of everything.
Your hear is not in the right place and you are lost. You are not going to see much of anything from prayer unless it is for salvation. For those who believe, answered prayers are not uncommon at all. You don't see them because you are not in a body of believers actively where you can have a relationship with them and see what prayer is doing everyday. I could go on for pages. And yes I have seen cancer and other things disappear and completely baffle doctors. I could go on for hours about all the things in my life that have been the direct result of God and prayer. I have also seen dear saints die a slow miserable death, but reach out and touch so many people with their witness for Christ and then go home to him. Praise God!
Nothing is impossible for God. There are no impossible things in the Bible. Science can't disprove the bible. History and archaeology can't disprove the Bible. Hundreds of arguments against the Bible have been shot down over the years by what we dig up from the middle east. Others by what science is just starting to learn. The Bible states many things like the earth being round, the universe ever expanding and many other things that took science a couple thousand years to figure out. They will figure a few more out as time goes on. God crated everything from nothing so a snake from a stick is not big thing. God's plan is in full swing. The things of the old testament Bible were done to show the world about God, and the coming of Christ. Christ has been here and the miracles of that time were used to show who he was. There is no more need for that stuff now. Christ has come. We have the Bible. Those who are saved have the Holly Spirit. We are in the time between Christ's first coming and second coming. Also consider that the there are times where long periods of time passes and no major sign of God or a profit were actively visible to the general public. The thinks of the Bible were not everyday stuff. Hang on to your seat, because the things of Revelation are next. If you are around for that you will see plenty and in the end all will stand before God. Many people saw great miracles in the past and still didn't believe. Faith is not an eye thing; it is a heart thing.
Do you know the digestive speed of a large fish's system? It was a large fish. Current translations say whale, but we don't know that for sure so we don't know how that fish's system worked. It could be one that digest very small things and not a big thing like Jonah. God crated everything so keeping someone in a fish's stomach for a few days is not big deal. Christ raised people from the dead. The fish thing is child's play for God. Besides, he was probably dead in the fish and brought back to life. If you read the story you will find he was not so great looking when he came back out of the fish so don't count out death or some digestive activity. The people were shocked by his appearance and that is probably part of why they listened to him.
When you are truly saved you are a different person and it is easy to say "how can you not believe", because you know, and it is so real you can't imagine how others can't believe. However, if you were not save as a child you just need to remember there was a time when you didn't believe. To a non-believer there is no proof and no knowing. That is because you are lost my friend. When you are saved you do know because life is never the same. It is the power of God's salvation in lives that is the most obvious proof of His existence in our current time, and God's greatest tangible miracle to me. Drugs, doctors, social workers, prison systems, ............. can't make the miraculous changes that salvation has done in the lives of the lost. There are millions of stories about murderers, thieves, rapists, prostitutes, drunks, drug attics...................wicked evel me.............who's lives have been miraculously transformed forever. That is power! Power you can experience! But you will not get there with your head. You have to call on God with your heart and really ask him in to change you and open your eyes. That is where you will find God. Step out on faith and ask him with all your heart to open your eyes to him. If you will do that God will work in your life. He is doing it right now through this.
God is love. Christ showed love to the lowest of people he came into contact with when he was here. Any believer that turns a back on you because you don't believe needs some spiritual growth. It is through the difficult times in life that we do grow. Your sister needs to do some more Bible study, and growing if she is really turning a back on you. However, if you are being a pain and disruptive to the family in time or crisis you may need to be at arm's length a little. It is through the difficult times in life that we grow and many times open up to God. It is through difficult times that we see the power of God. If all was well, we had no challenges, sickness or trouble in life we would all be lost because we would all be just fine without God. This life will be suffering and death due to man's sin. We all sin and most of what we suffer in life has to do with our choices. Some due to others choices. Some due to Adam's choices. The Bible is very clear about that. Christ, the son of God, suffered and died, and He was without sin. Do you think you will have it any better? You probably will not have near the hard life or death He had. However, for the saved we have God, and we don't have to fear death. Eternity is our home, not his word. If you are lost, eternity will not be a good thing. The suffering of this life will be minor in comparison.
Jim, reach out to God and open you heart. You have done the church thing, but you have not opened the heart and know the Saviour. There is a huge difference.
I am praying for you now,
More ammo! I need to shoot something!