read up on it at trekmovie.com
(EDIT: oops... fixed the above link)
i know many people aren't fond of DS9 but i try to accept incarnations of trek for what they are and find the positive points in them.
one of the ideas that i remember most vividly from DS9 is the prophets' existence outside of linear time. in one episode where capt. sisko has a lot of interaction with them, he kept being flung to a moment in his past, where he lost his wife. he asked them something to the effect of: why do you keep bringing me here? and they said: we do not bring you here... you exist here.
it's actually helped me cope with the loss of my mother last october. i don't believe in souls or the afterlife and i take comfort in that she exists within her slice of time.