Does how we pray effect the outcome of our prayers?  Is it the most important aspect of prayer?  “Rather than asking that the outcome of our prayer come to pass, we acknowledge our role as an active part of creation and give thanks for what we are certain we have created.  Whether we see immediate results or not, our thanks acknowledge that somewhere in creation our prayer has already been fulfilled.”  “The secret is that when we ask for something, we acknowledge what we do not have.  Continuing to ask only gives power to what has never come to pass” (Isaiah Effect, Gregg Braden, pp 166-168).

If we have been given the thought or desire for something, is it because we have already been given the gift?  Are the thoughts and desires like an announcement from the Creator.  Some cultures pray on this premise.  Certain groups of American Indians will not pray for something, for that is to suggest or to recognize that it hasn’t already been granted.  Many Tibetan Buddhists believe that one must “feel” the result and pray in a state of “compassion” in order to realize the object of prayer.

If all gifts have already been given and all prayers have already been answered, it seems the only useful and appropriate prayer is one of gratitude.  Is there a mythical warehouse where God has stored every conceivable  fulfilled desire for us and all that remains is for us to enter the door, and proceed down the aisle with our name on it, and possess the beautifully wrapped package?  Perhaps the “begging” petitionary prayers of most Christians, the “wrestling with God” encounters are not answered because they already have been!  “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

To be continued….