A friend involved in writing prayers of the faithful with another has posed the question, Does God/how does God change what was going to happen because of our prayer? Asking too, what books informed this opinion.
Most of us can find the answer to this question without books. I happen to need them desperately. I'd like to try a few ways of talking: one of them will be anecdotal, one philosophical, another sociological and socio-psychological. Perhaps a narrative theology in conclusion. What a wild ride this answer could be!
Already, I come back to the activity of my body, already given a thrownness into the world from which to grasp meaning. I am searching what has happened to me, to us, perhaps deeply troubled, Does God act? It's a foreshortened question, a move to the foundation of faith and the real existential uncertainty, the subjectivity of the leap of faith that Kierkegard describes most famously in his account of Abraham. Yes, conforming to the will of God, even to the height of Mount Moriah and binding his son, his beloved son, Isaac. The angel points to a shrub, at last, and there appears the surrogate, the lamb. For us and for our salvation, we pray to our Savior Jesus Christ. The turn or return to God, metanoia, the change of heart--describes the activity of the believer, while naming this salvation history describes the aboutface of God who draws all sinners to repentance and in mercy grants us peace.
The action of God, we believe, primordial, pre-time. We can give chase to lost valuables, feel even that our prayer is unheard, or wasteful, or we can talk about the activity as if nineteenth century philosophes led the query. Miracles--the extraordinary intervention of God in the ordinary world, what had become of such proofs of God's existence?
Do we say God acts? Yes, but not to emphasize the spectacle. The drawing to look over the shoulders--this is the way faithing works, God, irresistably marvelous, drawing us into mystery. This is the belief we tradition in faith communities, preserving the deposit of faith, specific revelations made known to us in time. Since the source and summit of revelation is made manifest in the liturgy, in the believing community we profess our faith in Jesus the son of God, this core belief. With a triune God, invoking the Spirit to accept the prayers of the faithful, the gifts of the faithful and make present the body and blood of Jesus, the incarnate God, whose justice and fulfillment we await at the end of days.