Acceptance of Prayers
IT is a common experience that most
of our prayers get no response. The reason for this is not hard to find.
We have not yet learnt the Will of God and how that Will works entirely
for our benefit. In our ignorance we very often pray for things that in
the long run are likely to do more harm than good, and no wonder that the
loving Father in His boundless compassion for us does not accept such prayers
and they bear no fruit, or else we would never be able to escape from sensual
Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss that ye may consume it upon your lusts.Again:
We ignorant of ourselves,George Meredith tells us to remember,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
That he who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer alone is answered.Again, we generally pray to God for miracles and no wonder such prayers are not granted.
Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle.All the time we are living a sensual life and have not yet known that there is another side of the picture as well -- life beyond the senses. Most of our prayers are, therefore, of a temporal nature and if they were granted without any exception we would naturally sink lower and lower in the scale of moral values and our sins increase more and more day by day, and there would hardly be a chance to get out of these prison-houses of the world and of the body and bodily enjoyments, with the result that we would forever remain an exile from the Kingdom of God--a Lost Province--with no hope for reunion.
Every prayer reduces itself to this: "Great God, grant that twice two be not four."
When a disciple remembers the Master,
he experiences within him a soothing influence and a sort of Divine intoxication.
This is known as telepathy or sympathetic communication from heart to heart
from a distance. In the same way we can, by tuning our attention with the
Infinite, draw upon the great reservoir of God-Power and utilize that for
the beneficent good of others. For this purpose one has to unite his self
in the Divine ground wherein all are embedded and from there pass on the
heavenly influence to the individual or society desired to be benefited.
In this attitude one has not to
place the desires of others before the Creator, but has simply to invoke His loving pleasure and await His Grace to work out the desired result.
If Radio's slim fingers can pluck a melody from night,But man is just a part of the creation and each individual but an infinitesimal speck therein. Gifted as we are with a limited vision, we do not know and understand that Grand Plan, that "Mighty Maze" as Alexander Pope, the Laureate of peace, puts it: it is indeed too much for "presumptuous man . . . so weak, so little and so blind," a tiny part in the vast machinery of His creation. Again the great poet tells us:
and toss it over a continent or sea,
why should mortals wonder if God hears prayer.
ETHIL ROMING FULLER
Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate.Each one, therefore, from his narrow angle of vision prays for a thing and knows not how it will fit in the Cosmic Order. In the hot and sultry months, for example, people living in towns pray for a refreshing shower, while in the rural areas peasants at the same time ask for more sunshine and heat for ripening their corn.
All but the page prescribed, their present state...
All Nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good.
And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
The Truth is clear, "Whatever is, is right" . . .
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man,
Chaos of Thought and Passion all confused...
Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
Sole Judge of Truth, in endless Error hurled.
Man looks not beyond his nose. He does
not even know what is good for him. Often he asks for things which, when
granted, become a veritable source of nuisance to him, and with much regret
he has to retrace his steps. The story of the "Golden Touch" is significant
in this connection. King Midas after much longing and prayer got the boon
of converting everything he touched into gold. After a few moments of happiness
he realized his mistake. The food he put into his mouth turned into a lump
of gold. The water as it touched his lips solidified into gold. His only
daughter as she came running and embraced him became a statue of gold.
As he went to the soft bed he found himself on hard metallic cushions.
God or Godman knows best. Our past and future are like an open book to Him. He would never grant such prayers as are ultimately baneful to us. How can the loving Father give to a child that which might prove a poison to him? A Persian poet says:
My God is more anxious than myself to fulfill my needs,One should pray to God for such gifts as He may consider beneficial.
All my endeavors in this behalf are but tortuous deeds.
0 God, I know not what is good for me, for I am immersed head and earsKhwaja Nizami prayeth:
in the maze of the world. 56
O God! Thou alone art my well-wisher. Show me the way wherebyIn the holy Koran also it is stated that people ought to pray for that which may be useful both in this world and in the next.
I may win Thy Grace and attain salvation.