Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)
When our soul in search for something, extends its hand with great earnestness and weeping towards the Fountainhead of grace, and, finding itself helpless, seeks light from somewhere through its reflection, this condition too is like a condition of prayer. All wisdoms have been manifested through such prayer and the key of every house of knowledge is prayer. No knowledge or insight is manifested without it. Our thinking, our reflection and our search for the hidden objective are all parts of prayer. The only difference is that the prayer of those who possess insight depends upon the manners of insight, and their soul recognising the Fountainhead of grace extends its hand towards it with insight.
The prayer of veiled ones is an effort which is manifested in reflection and thinking and the search for means. Those people who have not a connection of insight with God Almighty, nor do they believe in it, they too seek through reflection and thinking that some way of success might be indicated to their heart from the unseen, and a supplicant possessing insight also desires that God may open the way of success to him, but the veiled one who has no relationship with God Almighty does not know the Fountainhead of grace. He too, like one possessing insight, seeks help from another quarter and reflects on the means of obtaining such help, but a person possessing insight has an eye on the Fountainhead. The other one walks in darkness and does not know that whatever strikes the heart after reflection and cogitation is also from God Almighty, Who, treating the anxiety of the anxious one as a supplication, casts the necessary knowledge into the heart of one who cogitates. The point of wisdom and understanding that enters the heart through reflection also comes from God and, though the person himself may not realise it, God Almighty knows that he is supplicating Him. In the end he is bestowed his object by God. This method of seeing light, if it is pursued with insight and with the recognition of the True Guide, is the prayer of a person of understanding; but if light is sought from an unknown source, only through reflection and cogitation without fixing one’s gaze on the True Illuminer, it is a only veiled prayer…
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Essence of Islam, Vol. II (Tilford, Surrey, Islam International Publications Ltd., 2004), 206-207.