And that then undermines the whole premise of the Prophets. They see the past present and future as one. To them time is like what looking down on a ruler is us, all one thing. If Sisko had to convince them into doing what he wanted then they no longer see time as one. If a point in time needs to brought to their attention, they no longer see time as one. Which is it?
There's no real contradiction there. The idea that there is a contradiction is based on the perception that the Prophets "know in advance" what's going to happen and thus don't have to be convinced. But that doesn't make sense because there is
no "in advance" from the Prophets' POV, no before or after. Everything is right now
to them. Cause and effect are simultaneous.
But the key is that there still has to be a cause. Yes, they have "always known" that they would have to do this. But why did they know that? Because Sisko told
them they would have to do this. To us
, from our linear perspective, it looks like they had foreknowledge that he would tell them and that it was therefore redundant for him to tell them. But they didn't have fore
knowledge, because the concept of "before" does not apply to their perception. They just had knowledge
. To them, Sisko telling them happens at the same time as everything else in the universe. It's still the cause that produces the effect, the motivation that provokes them to act. Whether it comes before or after their awareness of that result has no meaning from their perspective, because to them there is no such thing as before and after. There's only cause and effect occurring simultaneously. And effects still need their causes.