Let me start by being frank with you. I have prayed many times since my childhood but most of them were not heard. Slowly, I started developing negative feelings. For example, I formed an opinion that there is no God to hear my prayers.
Well, I was completely wrong! My spiritual master opened my eyes and told me why my prayers were not heard. I was unintentionally making a couple of mistakes while praying. This is exactly what I wish to share.
Praying Without a Purpose
Initially, when I was a child, I used to pray just because everybody around me started praying. I was unable to understand why to pray in the morning, before having food, and at night. Slowly, as I grew up, the Moral Science subject of my school and my spiritual master taught me that each prayer should have a purpose.
A prayer without a purpose is meaningless. When you pray, you are calling God and making a request. So, if you make a request just for the sake of telling, will the receiver at the other end accept? You need to reveal the reason to make a request, right?
Similarly, even God will not listen to a prayer without a reason or a purpose! There is either a spiritual or worldly purpose but a purpose is required.
Prayer With Suspicion or Without Faith
When the COVID-19 pandemic had started, it was shocking to see how countless people lost their lives each day. Upon knowing this, you may pray for peace by saying, “Oh God! Please stop this pandemic and establish peace in this world.”
However, you may suddenly start suspecting your own prayer. You may then feel, “How will this help? How it will stop sudden deaths and remove fear? The death cases are increasing day by day. How this small prayer will help those in trouble?”
Well, this suspicion is due the excess intellect. It makes you doubt your own faith in God during difficult times. To doubt itself is a problem. So, do not doubt, especially when you are asking from God. Rather, continue to have faith in Him, as your heartfelt prayer with unflinching faith in Him has the power to establish peace soon.
At present, if the circumstances are bad or are getting worse despite you praying heartily, understand that the unfolding of karma is bad due to which prayers may not help. However, this does not mean that prayers will not help. Faithful prayers will help but when the time is right. At least, the near future will be peaceful.
Prayer Using the Selfish Intellect
If your son is sick, you may pray, “Dear God! Please give strength to my son so that he recovers well.” Now, if the intellect comes in between, you may then say to God, “Make him recover soon so that he can take care of me.” You now start crying deeply with a feeling of loss of protection of your son.
Similarly, if father is sick, you may pray in the same way. However, if there is intellect with a selfish motive, you may then say, “Make him recover soon so that he can give his wealth to me by being happy with my selfless service.” You now start taking stress as to whom his wealth and property will go.
Well, this is not a true prayer! A true prayer is from the heart with no selfish motive. At times, a heartfelt prayer fills your eyes with tears just for the betterment of the person in trouble; there is nothing expected in return. Such a prayer reaches God and brings the result.
On the other hand, if you are praying using the intellect, you will get selfishly emotional and leave your selfless purpose behind. You may also get mechanical by speaking words without any feelings behind them.
Praying Without a Pure Heart
If a natural disaster or riot strikes, you may pray, “Oh God! Please restore peace in this world and help everyone to come out of this catastrophe.” However, while saying so, in the back of your mind, the motive is to earn fame and praise from others. So, will this prayer be fulfilled?
Well, it will not be fulfilled. The aforementioned point highlighted the gross selfish motive of getting wealth. Here, the subtle selfish motive, which is the desire of pride, is the reason why your prayer will not be heard. The presence of any such motive or beggary marks the beginning of impurity. In other words, you are not praying with a pure heart.
The most important aspect here is the purity of heart where there is not a single expectation in return, not even that of fulfilling the prayer.
Did You Know?
A prayer with pure heart (genuine prayer) can even change the destiny. However, this change is directly proportional to the level of purity. A prayer with a pure heart, which is rare to find, has the power to override the laws of destiny!
Praying Without Concentrating
If you have just been promoted in your office, you may pray, “Oh God! Thanks for gracing me with this achievement. Please continue to grace me in this way.”
While praying so, you are speaking these words but your chit (internal component of knowledge and vision) is wandering by visualizing the pleasant effects such as compliments from others and more money in hand. So, will this prayer be heard? Will you continue to get His divine grace?
No! This is because there is no unity of the chit, mind, intellect, and ego. In simple words, there is a lack of concentration. If this unity or concentration does not arise while praying, that what you are doing cannot be called prayer at all. Your prayer is not a genuine prayer if the chit wanders to other irrelevant places, the mind shows thoughts other than the purpose, and the ego gets engrossed in those thoughts or places.
Praying With the Intention of Ensuring a Better Afterlife
Most of us who say a prayer for the dead or perform some rituals usually do so with the intention of asking God to ensure a better afterlife. Well, this is only a belief. The truth is that when you pray for the dead with heart, its pure vibrations reach the dead’s soul and makes him or her feel peaceful. That’s it!
It is a myth to believe that your prayers or rituals will improve the next life of the person who is dead. The next life is totally as per his or her karmas bound before dying.
Most of us know what is prayer but very few people know how to pray in the right way (without mistakes). I recognized all my mistakes to pray in the right way. Is there something more to improve for me? Please do share in the comments section.
© 2021 Dipali Gandhi