THE MEANING AND POWER OF PRAYER
Why Pray |
for our Problems |
Appreciation, Praise, and Reverence | Prayers for Others |
How Prayer Works | Prayer from the Heart | What to Ask for |
Intent | Jesus' Example
Why Should We Pray ?
Our religions teach us that God is present always and in all places, that God sees all and knows all. So why do we really need to pray? You might wonder, “if God knows everything about me, what I am thinking and what I need at all times, is it really necessary for me to ‘spell it out’” ? And after all, don't God's blessings extend throughout all the universe?
If someone has such doubts, they should contemplate what they believe the true purpose of prayer is. We must not be confused. The objective of prayer is not to call God's attention to us. It is, rather, to bring ourselves (our minds and our thoughts) closer to him. This changes the perspective a bit, doesn't it?
It's true that God's blessings are all around us, but consider this analogy. What would happen if you stayed in a pool of pure water for a long period of time, surrounded by all the water you could ever need, but you didn't ever open your mouth? You would die of thirst! Well, the same thing happens with prayer. It's like our way of “opening our mouth”, spiritually speaking, and becoming receptive to God's infinite blessings that are always there, ready for the taking.
Prayer is one of the greatest resources that we have to confront the problems that we face here on Earth, to conquer obstacles that previously seemed unbeatable. Imagine, if you will, a man alone, climbing a mountain— hot, hungry, tired, and weary. He stops his travel temporarily to rest under a tree. This tree is a blessing for him, for the shade cools him, and he's able to rest his weary body and mind, with time even for introspection. The fruit from the tree relieves his hunger. Soon after, with renewed energy, he is ready to pick up and resume his treck up the mountain.
Just as this tree does for the mountain-climber, prayer does for us. It gives us renewed energy and strength. Keeping our minds turned to God, we remain strong in our faith, confident that we will overcome our trials, and conscious that we always have a spiritual mentor at our side.
When we ask God for help, we are always heard. A request for help can be as simple as tuning into the suggestions that our spiritual friends give us, by way of our intuition, in order to solve the little problems that arise here and there. Alternatively, it may be asking God to help us remain calm in a moment when our real urge is to react with aggression, to swallow our pride when acting in a role that calls us to submission, or to understand rather than judge another person. By turning our thoughts to God in prayer, we are better able to turn away from those negative tendencies.
Our request for help can, at times, be the very last straw of hope that we have to cling to in those times when the world seems to have turned against us and we find ourselves feeling alone, trapped in the darkness of desperation, worry, and sadness. And isn't it awesome when from somewhere in that apparent darkness, shines this light, promising to guide us out of our suffering, and we feel God in our heart. He speaks to us and says, "Don't worry, it's going to be ok." Then somehow, not knowing how or when, we simply know that we’ll make it through.
When we pray on a daily basis, in good times and bad, we establish a strong link with God and the spiritual realm , so that in difficult times, this voice, this promise of support sounds loudly and clearly in our heart. The faith that we develop through this bond will give us strength and courage, the energy we need to overcome our problems, however trivial or serious they may be.