Question: Many pray for their ancestors to bless them. Does this work?
Answer: They are not able to bless us, unless they have been reborn with greater blessings, or have become Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, and are looking after us. Also, merely asking ordinary beings to bless the survivors does not mean they will or are able to do so.
That said, whether the deceased and/or reborn are aware of prayers to them or not, survivors’ expressing of gratitude, offering of guidance with support-chanting (to reach Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land), making of offerings and dedicating of meritorious virtues do create merits, that thus become blessings for the survivors.