Why do we need to pray?
Do we pray ‘let thy will be done ‘ or do we pray ‘ let my will be done?’ Is prayer an administrative advice to Him, or our shopping list? Is it beggary or an insurance premium? Most people pray mechanically and faithlessly as a result of grandma’s kid training. It is a sheer meaningless habit. Grandma asks, “Do you say your prayers every night?” Grandson: “Oh! yes”, “and every morning?” “Oh! No. I’m not scared at day time!” These are prayers out of fear that the Lord will protect me from harm ‘if’ I pray. It’s an insurance premium you pay daily!
Some pray for communal acceptance, a herd instinct for security and acceptability in their community. Mass prayer gatherings are usually so, they pray duty bound to communal norms, also, ‘to see’ and ‘ to be seen’.
Some pray with a shopping list. ‘ Oh Lord! My business!’ ‘ Oh Lord! My daughter ‘s marriage’, the list is endless with many new things popping up.Prayers generally are expressions of despair at man’s sense of want and incompleteness, of insecurity or fear. How seldom does man focus on what he has!
Why don’t we thankfully expand our hearts in true gratitude and love for Him who gave us this perfect body, air, food and water, bare essentials for survival? A cheerful acceptance of the Lord’s great gifts as the best for me, would be the wisest attitude to cultivate.
The Lord needs not our gratitude and prayers, these only help our minds to expand into egoless love and joy, enriching our troubled minds with peace,contentment and bliss. Prayers help us to unburden our souls of worry and want, bringing thankfulness for all our blessings. “We thank the one who gave us the wristwatch , but forget the one who gave us the wrist!” Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org