The Sweetness of Prayer

Woman praying at a temple in India

We were recently asked, what is prayer?

In my experience, prayer connects us to the Illumined Self (The eternal expansive all-pervasive Love and Truth within), so that we can open to trust and surrender. Prayer opens us to Grace. It is like ringing the door bell and waiting for the Divine In-dweller to respond. Or you can say it is like picking up the phone, dialing into Source, getting connected to the Infinite Intelligence, and asking for support, help, guidance or whatever we need at any given moment.

Quite simply, prayer is communion with the Eternal Absolute Indivisible Brahman (God).

“There is nothing quite like the sweetness of prayer”

Aparna Choudhuri

I experience prayer as a way to empty myself and open to the wisdom of Love and Truth. I can do it anywhere at any time in anyway. Prayers are like thresholds of mysterious power. Profound encounters with perfection.

For Eddie, my beloved partner, it is communicating and communing with God, waiting for an answer and being patient. Let THAT Will be Done. Whatever it is. He believes we get what is best for us at all times. He doesn’t let his desires and attachments come in the way. There are no coincidences, everything happens for a reason. Prayer helps us recognise this and overcome our desires and attachments.

Prayer is very simple really; it is like speaking to your best friend, asking for help, answers, or simply wanting to rest in the Presence of Love. Of course, this best friend is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, just an omni kind of Love. 

A couple of questions:

If prayer is awareness expanding into infinite Presence, yet remaining in contact with the body, does prayer have the ability to draw the Power of Presence and all that it can, into this moment?

Yes. The paradox of prayer reveals itself in our ability to trust and surrender.

Another take on prayer would be it is the surrender of personal will, to the cosmic will, the surrender of me to thine; “Thy will be done”.  

Here is a lovely quote from Sathya Sai Baba, “You should use your will power and connect your heart to God, not the physical heart, but spiritual heart. Wherever you are and whatever you may do, contemplate on God as naturally as you inhale and exhale your breath. This process of inhalation and exhalation continues when you are sleeping, working, or even quarrelling with others. This is a natural process, and nothing can come in its way. Similarly, you should contemplate on Divinity in any form continuously, whatever you may be doing. Strive to follow this path, which is ever true and eternal.”

When i am in state of meditative prayer, peace often floods me being.

Without prayer, will my personal capacity be able to tackle the obstacles i face?

Of course, you have the ability to face and wrestle with anything without prayer. Prayer is a choice.

Sometimes the ego masquerades in worthlessness so as not to be / feel afraid. Prayer helps us articulate these fears and be free of them.

What is the best way to pray?

I don’t think there is prayer formula.

Hypothetically, if i was praying specifically for something , i could say to whatever Power, i believed in whether it is Nature, God, The Divine Mother, this is how i feel, this is what i want, i offer it all to you, help me, give me the strength to undergo this, let me find peace even in this. Let me know YOU (God, Nature, the SELF). Help me stay centred in the Truth. Help me be Love.

When my mother was in hospital, i think one of my prayers may have been along the lines of, “God, i am feeling lost, un-centred, it is hard for me to witness mother’s pain, her helplessness and bewilderment, i am at a loss. Help me be of service, help me be all that i can be now, help me be the Love that i am, Help her so that she can experience your Love, your Presence… help us find our way through this to You, to Love, to Truth, help me let go, help me be present to the perfection in this moment, heal us through all time and space…and so on.” It was a rambling, an emptying, an opening, a mind cleansing, a deep yearning, an asking, and from that i received enormous strength and clarity, because i knew, i trusted, that i had been heard. It helped me step into the Presence of Love that I am.

My understanding is that patience and prayer purifies the senses, helping us to be clear channels of the miraculous.

I would say the best way to pray is to be in a space where you won’t be disturbed. Where you can for a few moments unburden the mind and open to the expansive reality of the Heart.

The Power of Prayer

The Power of the prayer is beyond all imagination. It is a sacred bond between you and the Presence of Love in Creation, it gives you permission to make a leap, to ask and let go, to accept and forgive, to entreat and surrender, to engage with the divine play and to break free of all limitation.

Anytime, you connect to the forces of Love and Truth, you create ripples of peace and self-responsibility, these become prayers that heal humanity.

The Sweetest Prayer for Humanity

Here is my favourite Vedic Sanskrit prayer. It states, “May all beings, in all worlds, be blessed with contentment and peace”

Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu

Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu

Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi

You can hear the Sathya Sai college boys chanting the mantra  (mp3 file).
This pdf file contains western-style sheet music, with chords, for Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavanthu.

That’s all for now, Peace, Love and Joy, Ranjana