That which causes one to pray is really the evidence that the answer is already seeking expression in us. The process of the answer’s coming forth is not really the development on the part of the answer, but rather an expansion of the mind of man to comprehend the answer which already existed. In truth, the entire practice of prayer is the self-operative facts of God moving through the nature of man, and urging their way into complete expression in him, in all his affairs, and in all creation. “Before you call I will answer.” In the beginning of prayer–the urge to pray–is the first assertion, and in the end it is the expression of the Divine Self with all its powers and capacities.
Prayer in its truest sense is … the struggle of the Divine Self to come forth into being; and the ultimate answer to every prayer is this Divine Self actually come forth and expressed in the nature of man.
When the Prodigal Son returned to the Father’s house, he found that there was enough and to spare of all the things which he had need of in the way of position, shelter, food, and clothing. All of these lesser needs of his nature were taken care of in his definite return to his rightful place in his father’s house. So when man returns to his rightful place in the Divine scheme of life, when he awakens to the knowledge of his Divinity, he will also find that there is enough and to spare for all of his inner and outer nature.
To the individual awakened spiritually,
his continual realization,
his daily joyous prayer is the living declaration that God is All in All;
that the Will of God is done in absolute perfection
in and through his own being
and in all the world;
that God is his instant and inexhaustible supply;
that God has always and completely forgiven him from the beginning
and he is free from the binding and false notion of limitation;
that the Spirit of God sustains him in every undertaking of life;
that through the very goodness of God he is delivered
from all that which has seemed contrary to Him;
that he, as an individual, is a Kingdom wherein God rules;
that the power of God moves through him
to accomplish that which ought to be done by him;
and that the ultimate expression of all creation is but the crowning glory of God himself.
Thus the beginning and the ending, the alpha and omega of prayer are the same.
The joy with which he (the “pray-er”) proceeded in the beginning was the answer seeking to come forth; and the joy in the end became the grateful acknowledgment of ideals fulfilled.
E.V. Ingraham, Prayer, It’s Practice and It’s Answer, 1935
And do not adapt yourselves to this age,
but be transformed by the renewal of the mind,
to search out what is the intention of God,
– the Good, and Noble, and Perfect!
Translated by Ferrar Fenton,
The New Testament in Modern English, Fourth Edition, 1906.
Pray without ceasing.
I Thessalonians 5:17
King James Bible