Just found this:
"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.
Give a man religion, watch him starve to death praying for fish."
-- Scott Stockdale
I'm beginning to think hope + action = prayer...
Hope (souls desire) + action = answered prayer.
One can hope to win a million dollars, but unless one takes action to buy a lottery ticket, it isn't going to happen.
One can hope for a job opportunity that fits their hopes /desires, but unless they take action to apply, search the paper, mingle with people in the field, etc, it isn't going to happen.
So, one can hope and pray for whatever one wants, but unless action is taken, there will be nothing.
I think of it this way: My heart / soul/ spirit tells me what I desire. That is the "Hope" or revealing of the desire of my soul. I pray for that desire to be fulfilled or met. If I stop there, I will never be or receive that for which I hope. However, if I listen to my hearts desire, pray for guidance, and then listen again, I will be more likely to know which steps to take in order to obtain what I need / want.
So, which one provides results? Hope? Prayer? Action?
Without hope or desire, we wouldn't know what our soul needs. Without prayer, we may not be giving the desire as much thought as needed to make it happen, and without action of course, nothing will happen.
Which begs the question, does prayer work or is it just focusing more of our energy and thoughts on our hope / desire which leads us to taking the required action to obtain what we desire? Is it all in our minds?
(I admit to being stuck in this mode of thinking for about a year now. Anyone with an answer for me will win a big undisclosed prize!)