PRAYER: Instinctive in Man
PRAYER is instinctive with man and
no one can do without prayer at one stage or another, whatever form it
may take. The faithful and the faithless, Momin and a Kafir,
a man of God and a man who has no belief in God, all pray, each one of
course in his own particular way. The need for prayer generally arises
when one finds himself in distress, in calamity, or in the grip of some
devastating disease, or when he desires satisfaction of some unusual physical
and spiritual need which he cannot otherwise fulfill, or when he wants
to combat forces of adversity or darkness. In such circumstances he feels
that by his own unaided efforts he cannot secure satisfaction of his wants,
and in utter helplessness he seeks strength in prayer. In everyday life
we see a student seeking the aid of a teacher in the solution of some difficult
problems, a patient in illness that of a physician, an employee that of
his employer and so on. All these are prayers in varying degrees and forms.
Again, for the satisfaction of his daily needs, a child looks up to his
parents, a wife to her husband, etc.
In all trying circumstances, prayer is the last weapon in our armory. Where all human efforts fail, prayer succeeds.
... More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of...
... For what are men better than sheep or goat,
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If knowing God, they lift not their hands in prayer,
Both for themselves and those they call friends.
When prayer is the salt of life, we cannot do without it. But whom do we pray to? The answer naturally is, "To the One Supreme God or the Godman in whom His power resides and through whom it works in the world." All religions are in agreement on the point that prayer at the seat of the soul draws out all the latent powers of Godhood within and one can achieve spiritual beatitude through it. It is a connecting link between the Creator and His creation, between God and man. It is a supporting staff in the hands of a spiritual aspirant and a pilgrim soul cannot do without it, right from the beginning to the end of the journey, for it saves one from many a pitfall on the way and transforms the mind through and through until it shines forth and begins to reflect the light of the soul.
Through His Grace the osprey turns into a royal swan,
O Nanak! He may make a cygnet of a crow. (2)
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