Nov 12, 2009

Power of prayer

CandlesImage by magnuscanis via Flickr
In the course of life we often come across moments when we have done our best and still things don’t seem to go in the desired direction. At such times we wish we had some power to change situations in our life. A power that could change the experience of our lives.

Well friends, we do have a power in our hands and that is the power of prayer. So how prayer can bring about the desired change, how it can influence the environment around us, and how it works?

We can get the answer to these questions by examining the reasons as to why most of us don’t view prayer as a means to get what we want. This is due to the following reasons:

1. We are not sure about the existence of God or a superior power outside of us:

Most of us do not believe in the presence of a God or any supreme force or power outside of us due to the fact that there is no such person or power visible to us through our eyes. However friends, the presence of someone can be experienced not just by seeing them but also by seeing what they do for us.

Consider this example for a moment, you may have experienced in your childhood if you had a working mother that she used to cook food for you and keep it for you. So when you came back from school even though you could not see her there, you knew that she is there for you. You could feel her presence in your life and the impact that her presence had in your life and on your sense of well being.

All of us have experienced something like this where our mother, father, spouse, or friend have done something for us and even though they did this behind our backs, yet we could feel their presence in our lives by their actions.

Similarly, there is God who thought about us even before we arrived in the world. The world already existed with all its beauty, luxuries, and everything essential for our survival. The world was already in its place for us before we came. Also, we know that we are not the ones who created this world. So if it is not us then certainly there is someone more powerful than us who has done this for us? So there is no reason in spite of seeing this physical proof in form of this creation not to believe in the presence of a creator.

However, there is another reason why we don’t pray and that is mentioned below.

2. We do not see anyone responding in front of us when we pray:

No one likes one way communications. We don’t like it when we cannot see the one we are talking to. At the same time we also like to receive confirmed response to what we are praying for. In case of prayers we are often not sure if someone who is out there is listening to our prayers and if there is someone listening then what is his/her response to our prayer?

Well friends, if we believe that there is a power behind the creation of this universe, then that power can as well use this universe to help us who are also a part of the universe. For example, if our finger gets cut and starts bleeding then rest of the body mechanism rushes to help heal the wound. Since the finger sends a message to the entire system through the sensory nerves and since this finger is also very much the part of the body, so the entire system goes in the direction of providing everything necessary to heal it.

Similarly, when you need something in life and pray for it, you being a part of the universe, the whole universe moves to fulfill it. Like when the finger gets healed the whole body feels better, similarly when your desire gets fulfilled the whole universe feels fulfilled. Therefore, many times after praying you find that either what you want gets done, or you meet someone who can help you, you learn something new and this learning helps you, or you get an insight, or come across a new book so on and so forth. All this is God reaching out in the answer to your prayer to help you. God moves universe that is a manifested form of Him to help you. Be sure that universe is moving in the answer to your prayers.

Still, there is yet another reason that many people do not pray and that is as follows.

3. We feel that since God knows everything he will help us on his own:

Most of us feel that if God is as powerful as he is and as loving then he should help us on his own. He already knows what we want since he can see us all the time then why he waits for us to pray. There is no need for us to pray and if God would want to help us he would do so on his own. Also, if he does not help us then it means he does not want to help us and therefore, there is no need for us to pray to him.

Well, let us for a moment consider this example, when we were kids aged 7-12 years and were learning new things everyday did we not want to try things ourselves first on our own? It was only if we felt stuck somewhere that we called for help from our parents and they too left us to do our own thing unless we called them. Most of us as adults also come across children of this age group who are learning new things and they want to be left alone. Be it is solving a puzzle or something as small as putting battery in a torch, children want to do everything on their own. It is only after they give up on something that they would accept help, not before that. At such times we as adults too leave them and let them have the adventure of trying new things. We do not interfere unless we are asked to.

Similarly, God too gives you your share of adventure of learning through new situations and realizing your own potential of handling things, but if you ask for help he helps you. However, he too does not help unless you decide that you need help else it would be interference on his part.

4. We fear that God will do things in his own way and in his own time, whereas we want it now and without any conditions attached:

We often do not like to take God’s help because we feel that God will help us on his terms and conditions, whereas we want everything on our terms and conditions. We feel that God might put a difficult condition in front of us, before he answers our prayer or he may take very long in answering the prayer so why to take his help that is actually nonexistent. If I need to do something to get something I can do it without even praying to him and still I will get results according to my efforts.

Dear friends let us once again consider an example of a small child aged between 2-4 years. Children at this age often want things that adults use, it may be a book, your sunglasses, or any other such thing that you know is of no use to the child and he might as well damage it. So what we as adults do in such situations? We try to distract the child and hide our things. We do not let them have these things until they are grown enough to use them in a proper way.

Similarly, with God you are never given things that you cannot handle or cannot value. However, praying to God to give you those things enables forces in the universe that move to help you learn and grow at the fastest speed so that you become the person who can handle what you are asking for. So if there is a condition attached, it is only to help you “have” it and not to “deny” you anything. Also, the time taken in giving something to you by God would be the fastest speed if it is done at the God's speed. This is because God knows the shortest route to reach there much in the same way as you in your adulthood know shortcuts to many things that small children do not know.

5. Why we must pray when we can do it on our own:

Well, you have a freedom in that. You can choose not to take help and you certainly must put in your own efforts in the best possible way that you can. However, in situations where you are stuck or where things are not really in your hands, you must pray and use the power and help that is available to you.

So if you have anything where you would like God to help you to move in a faster way and use this power, then let us do the following exercise:

First of all write down all the areas of your life where you feel that you are unable to help yourself. It can be a limitation in any dimension i.e. personal, professional, physical, or spiritual.

Second, clearly write the exact outcome as you want it.

Third, experience the presence of God in the form of nature or you may take any picture or idol to connect with the presence of God.

Four, connecting with this presence just pray for the help in your desired area.

Five, get busy with your life and all your prayers will be answered in the best way and at the right time but continue to pray for different things every day. It will certainly increase your speed of achieving things in your life.
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  1. Terrific Article. Its really an amazing feeling to realize that all of us do have such a great power within i.e the power to pray and fulfill our desires, but we seldom use it ...

  2. When we want to truly have an effect on the world and others around us, we must quickly realize and believe that the greatest thing we can do for everything around us, is have an effect on our own spirits. We are not responsible for everybody around us. Only ourselves. And it is amazing how when we know that, that's when our spirits begin to radiate upon others. :)

    Of course, prayer is powerful. :)

  3. Awsome stuff...When you know that your pray is being listened by the God, you do not bother whether it is fullfilled or not. Very joy of this feeiling that you are being heard by God is so fullfilling. Thanks for the wonderful thoughts which gives assurance that yes God listens you.... :)

  4. Amen, i believe in the power of prayer.

  5. There is a lot of power in prayer.

  6. Thanks for inviting me over.

    It seems like a lot of thought has gone into your post. Great job!

    I believe that prayer can be extremely powerful although not necessarily for the reasons you've given.

  7. Prayer often provides us with a strength and insight we didn't know we had.

  8. Hi Pratishtaji, thank you very much for bringing out a meaningful post.

  9. Interesting... when you remind people that they have the power, they wake up! They straighten their backs, they get filled with joy and energy! Nice! =)

  10. I am not one who often pray, not because I do not believe in the presence of a greater being but because I believe that we have to depend on ourselves at most time. And the time when I did pray, I was lost and I was praying for some directions. You have very good analogies between the children and some of the questions or doubts we may have regarding the greater being.

  11. Praise God for this post. It outlines the core elements of why prayer is so important. At this stage in my life it is all I have and want. You have done an excellent job. Thank you so very much...

  12. I do believe in the power of prayer. as a matter of fact, I ask signs before i marry my hubby. :)

  13. The power of prayer is great but a real change of the heart comes with the spirit within all of us, a change of the heart.

  14. If you read my posts about living with cancer since the 80s and having had 11 major surgeries, you'd know I am a fervent believer in the power of hope, optimism and prayer....and the spiritual....thank you so much for stopping by and I will continue to read your marvelous words of wisdom as well. Blessings to you.....

  15. Maybe God doesn't do everything for us, but He sure has His own way to help. And to clear our hands from all work could be bad for us. Thanks for visiting coolymages!

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  17. You have put in lots of thoughts and very well written about why do we need to pray. Great post. Keep it up.

  18. I think this is my first comment. Brilliant, I must say after reading your post. Keep it up :)

  19. hi visiting here again. have a great weekend. :)

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  21. life is a journey, thats all i can say in short....
    World Travel Destinations

  22. I really do believe a prayer can change anything. We just have to believe.
    Nice pic!

  23. A prayer give a strength for those who really believe and want to believe it.It's only a matter of time..God will never regret us either we put a trust on Him or not.Everytime we pray,it's not for God cause He don't need it..we pray actually for our own..cause we need God all the time.
    A great thought and believe in your post Pratishtha.

  24. In good times as in bad times, it's the power of prayer I turn to. At bedtime, I recall the highlights of my day, first, the bad times and second, the good times. I say my acts of penance and my thanksgiving and feel fresh and blessed the next day again. Congratulations for this awesome post.