It's Nature and Technique

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 enjoyments.

Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
We ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
George Meredith tells us to remember,
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.
Every prayer reduces itself to this: "Great God, grant that twice two be not four."
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.

    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,
  and toss it over a continent or sea,
  why should mortals wonder if God hears prayer.
                                                                           ETHIL ROMING FULLER
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:
Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate.
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.
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.

    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,
All my endeavors in this behalf are but tortuous deeds.
One should pray to God for such gifts as He may consider beneficial.
0 God, I know not what is good for me, for I am immersed head and ears
  in the maze of the world. 56
Khwaja Nizami prayeth:
O God! Thou alone art my well-wisher. Show me the way whereby
  I may win Thy Grace and attain salvation.
In 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.

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