An Answer to a Prayer
I believe that God's grace precedes our prayers, that in a sense,
God's answer is offered before we even ask. And yet, our asking is
still important because that is the way we discover God's presence
and God's desires for us, the way we become receptive to God's
presence, the way we become open to God's guidance, malleable in
the hands of God as clay is malleable in the hands of the potter.
of putting this is that I don't believe God intervenes
in response to our prayers in order to miraculously change the
circumstances of our lives, but rather that God responds to us
through the power of the Spirit working in us. In response to our
asking, God gives us God's self, and through us, through the power
of God's presence in us, we become the very agents through which
God works in answer to our requests. A statement by T.H. Williams
expresses this same understanding in a strong, eloquent way: "We
show a lack of faith in God by a lack of faith in ourselves as
proceeding from God's creative act."
-- from the question "What if God doesn't answer my prayers?"
by the Rev. Margaret Gunness
the essay in its entirety.