Friday, January 18, 2008

Does God Answer Prayer?

For Leah.

Any call to God is a reach (however small) toward the “divine other.” The “divine other” may be God and may be simply the space outside of one’s self. A prayer is a call from within one’s person to somewhere outside of one’s person. Any time someone looks outside of themselves, they are open to another reality. A prayer acknowledges that ‘I’ cannot live in isolation. A prayer opens a person to their surroundings and invites new resources and possibilities. A prayer creates the opportunity for a person to receive from the ‘divine other.’ In essence, a prayer, by virtue of what is does to a person, opens one to the bounty of the universe. A prayer answers prayer. A prayer invites the truth of the universe to enter into an individual. A prayer takes a person from self-sufficiency to a place of receiving.

I think that God gives a person grace to pray. I think God brings us to a place where prayer begins to flow from us. I think God leads us to prayer and then allows us to see that the bounty of creation is ours. The miracle is that we are lead to pray. The work of God happens before any words of prayer are uttered. The answer to our prayer is part of the working of the universe. The fact that we pray is the work of God. Before we pray, God moves toward us. As we pray, we move toward God. Prayer is the miracle. That we pray is the gift from God.

So, yes, one can say that God answers prayer, but the miracle and the true gift from God is that we pray in the first place. God gives us the grace to pray and therein is the miracle and the mystery of faith.

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