I used to pray with desperation, not really expecting to receive anything; mostly just railing at my unhappiness. I think that kind of prayer is valid, but in my life it has been much less effective. When I began praying with gratitude -- conjuring up the emotions I would feel after I had received what I sought, and truly believing in that possibility -- I saw SUCH change in my life. Incredible strings of coincidences, opening after opening with no pauses between. People I had intense, instant connections with just appeared in my life, money came to me in strange ways when I needed it, events happened at just the right time -- opportunities that could so easily have never existed.
But those openings would have meant nothing if I hadn't been eagerly watching for them, darting through as soon as I saw them. If I wasn't watching for those people I had asked for to appear, I wouldn't have taken the chances I did, and I wouldn't have followed through on that initial spark. If I hadn't opened up ways for the universe to give to me, I wouldn't have had people order jewelry from me at just the moment that I desperately needed to sell. If I had passed up on just ONE event that I felt a tug to experience, the whole string that followed would never have happened.
I've learned to believe in gifts by feeling gratitude ahead of time, to watch for their arrival, and to take them out of the package. All that together is how prayer works for me.
LJ idol season 8, topic 1: "When You Pray, Move Your Feet."