Tag: Prayers

Simplicity of prayer

Amazing things start happening when we start praying! Anon

The beauty of prayer lies in its simplicity; young and old, rich or poor, children or adults can all use this medium in various ways to meet their needs. To begin with they can use prayer to reach out for help when needed, offer prayers of thanks for blessing got and can even seek company in prayer when lonely. In fact most prayers are those that people say seeking help desperately. The first reason for that is because our wants are always unlimited but the means are limited. We want more money, more riches, more fame and more material possessions. The second reason is we turn to prayer is when we have exhausted all other means particularly when we face a crisis situation. This could be illness, when seeking a job or admission, when we have lost a valuable, when we are in some sort of extreme personal crisis like a divorce etc.

The power of prayer also lies in its simplicity. It has no predetermined format or style although in many religions they have standardized the prayers to make it more people friendly. Real prayer though is communication with the almighty and this has no fixed outline or specifications. It simply revolves round sharing our inner most feelings, talking as one would to another and the toughest part is to be able to listen attentively. All payers are powerful because they are heard and acted upon but the most powerful prayers are those that come from the depth of our hearts. Far too often we mistakenly believe that our prayer are answered only when we get what we want. There is a prayer answered when we don’t get what we want but that is difficult to appreciate because man is short sighted and selfish by nature. Gods plasn are mysterious and denial of our requests could be with very good reason.

The fruits of prayer also lie in its simplicity. The peace that comes to us when we pray is the most cherished fruit of them all. This is because most prayers are offered when in trouble and the prayer offered give us comfort that we have sought the support of the almighty. Many times prayers are answered in the most unexpected ways be it winning a lottery or landing a great job when we least expect it. Prayer often tranquilizes the soul, calms our spirit and rejuvenates our physique. Our worries and woes suddenly vanish from our midst, our needs seem satisfied and our greed transforms into satisfaction. If we offer our prayers sincerely, you will realize that Prayers have the power to turn the impossible into the miraculous.

Remember: “All prayers are answered if we are willing to admit that sometimes the answer is “no”

Try this:

  1. The next time you pray, be aware of how much you are actually seeking and how little we actually appreciate, thank or accept in good grace the answer to our prayers.
  2. Ask yourself how effective our prayers are if we carry grudges, if we have evil thoughts about others, if we cannot forgive our brother/ sister/ neighbor etc or if we refuse to accept another’s apology but still seek revenge.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

 

The fewer the words…

The fewer the words, the better the prayer.  Martin Luther

Across the world, prayer is the common medium of reaching up to the divine and uniformly it is always verbose and repetitive. Part of this notion of prayer being verbose and repetitive could be attributed to the fact that when the concept of prayer emerged most people were illiterate and not confident that they could talk to the almighty. The priests then preferred to have common verbose prayers that could be easily memorized and repeated. The also tailored prayers for certain occasions, festivals, celebrations etc. so that the mood and essence of the occasion is addressed. Ever since prayer has become central to religion but more significantly has emerged as a means to express ourselves albeit in a most hackneyed and contrite way.

In reality prayer is a communication with the almighty and this means one has to be spontaneous, free and frank. Prayer has no rigid format and that is another salient feature of this form of communication; one can communicate as one adult to another or as a child to a parent or as a friend to a friend. Since communication is a two process, it implies that one has to listen to the response to our communication.  However this provides the biggest challenge for all our answers are heard only in the silence of our hearts. More often than not, our hearts are filled with anxiety, worries, hopes, expectations and so it is never silent nor attentive. As a result, while we seek to unburden or thank, we are never ever sure if our passionate pleas or entreats are ever heard or acknowledged. As a result, our rote prayers become more fervent, less personalized and often end up as a bargain with the almighty.

There is another aspect of prayer that is less understood and never emphasized. It is said that action speaks louder than words and this is applicable to prayer too. Most people find it hard to visualize action in the form of helping people, volunteering our time and efforts, taking some leadership roles in society etc. as being akin to prayer. In reality, prayer in the conventional form is relatively more passive, less action oriented and definitely more stereotype. If one were to roll up the sleeves and taken on some work that would benefit people at large that would be a more heartfelt prayer. Action needs more than just effort; it needs commitment of time, focused attention and is always result oriented. When you help others, there is sense of achievement a feeling of fulfillment and then the verbose prayers are almost always directed towards success of our activity and rarely self centered.

The best prayers are always those which focus on thankfulness, gratefulness and acknowledgment and appreciation. For such prayers we do not require too much verbosity and in addition it is more positive and humbling. When we volunteer and actively participate in the needs of society, when we take out time to devote to our specific project and when our commitment is unconditional and complete, there can never be a more powerful and devoted prayer.

Remember: “It is in vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray.”  Aesop quotes

Try this:

  1. List out 3 or more blessings for which you are always grateful to the almighty. If there was one more blessing you sought what would it be and why?
  2. Over the last 5 years, what were the practical things you did out of the way as a gesture of help and good will for your fellow men? Can you additionally choose a specific cause and commit yourself to it?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Praying for another

When you pray for anyone you tend to modify your personal attitude toward him. Norman Vincent Peale

Prayer is communication with the almighty and ideally prayer should be personal, spontaneous, positive and fervent. Most times our prayers are focused inwards to our happiness and occasionally for the happiness of our families, friends and relatives. Often our prayers are directed towards our request for more wealth, more riches, more peace of mind and more happiness.  Instead of focusing inwards if we attempted to focus outwards towards the people around us, the poor and downtrodden, those denied justice, the sick and suffering, unfortunate victims of war, poverty, illness and social inequality, we would perhaps get the true fulfillment of prayer and possible answers to prayers in the form of peace of mind.

The real challenge for a normal person is to suppress the natural urge to seek favors for self and actively pray for others. Surprisingly, there are times we freely do it like the times when we pray for a sick friend, a newly wedded couple, a person death bed or for those unwittingly caught in a distress situation even if we have no remote connect with them. If we are passionate sports enthusiasts with strong loyalties then we also freely and passionately pray for our team and even pray for a miracle if the team is weak or playing poorly. The challenge of true prayer can be answered when we really search our hearts and ask if we can selflessly pray for someone who has wronged us, someone we dislike immensely or for someone who is openly hostile to us or someone who treats us like an enemy.

Whether our prayers are answered or not there is one great benefit of prayer that we can sense immediately; the feeling of having unburdened and shared. Often our problems stem from the fact that we cannot share it with anyone and GOD is a good sponge who can easily absorb all our grievances, fears, worries, pleas and frustrations. The other great benefit of prayer is that when we pray for others, we suddenly begin to see the other person in a new light. We search out new virtues in the person, we discover pleasing facets of the person and we begin to share a common bond with those who we pray for. It dawns on us that perhaps we did not make the effort to really understand and appreciate the person we are praying for. Even as we pray, we also acknowledge our sins and mistakes in perhaps judging the other person incorrectly, in being critical of the person unfairly and / or ignoring the person because we didn’t really care for him /her.

Praying for others cleanses us of our guilt, removes our misconceptions of the others and helps us warm up in spirit to the other person. Our own person begins to undergo a change for suddenly we begin to feel positive, more responsible, feel an empathy with the other and crave to ensure that the other person is blessed by our prayer.

Remember: “Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart”  Martin Luther

Try this:

  1. Make a list of 5 people whom you will pray for daily. Ensure that at least one is a family member and one is someone you do not really care for. Examine your own feelings after you have prayed for them.
  2. Not all prayers need be formal. Look at this different prayer that takes the art route. While admiring the exceptional talent and creativity of the artist, look at it also as a prayer for all those who suffered and died in revolutions the world over. Click the link and see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOMgDbcA84A

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Prayer is…

The whole meaning of prayer is that we may know God.  Oswald Chambers

Prayer is often ritualistic, parroted and often used as tool of the last resort by the desperate. In a fast paced world, with eroding values, a pot puree of cultures and religions and ‘money; being the yardstick of success, prayer has been reduced to one of those hedging strategies that we use to protect our well being . Obviously when the concept of prayer itself has undergone such a drastic metamorphosis, it would be unrealistic to expect most people to see prayer as anything but a good ‘talisman’ that is apparently personalized ( because I say it individually) but fundamentally institutionalized (since most prayers are standardized)

In its original avatar prayer is praise and worship to a god who is all powerful and benevolent. God has always been an enigma, difficult to comprehend, impossible to ignore and mysterious in his ways. This recognition of the power of god and in his infinite bounty and love which the human race aimed to appreciate through prayer is also a small step in understanding the mystery called god.  We sometimes end up completely mistaking our idea of ‘God’ particularly at times when we feel that our pleas are falling on deaf ears and that he pays no heed to our desperate cry. Other times we are completely beholden to GOD for we feel that we are not just duty bound to appreciate his blessings but because we are fearful of incurring his wrath.

Prayer takes on many forms from litanies to paeans, from prepared texts to spontaneous words and can oscillate from hysterical crescendos to absolute silence. Whilst on one hand the focus is on praise and worship more often than not we end with requests and seeking favors for ourselves and for our loved ones. Amazingly without really meaning to we resort to even some sort of bargaining wherein we promise to return a favor if God grants us our wish.  We are ecstatic when our wishes are granted that we end up calling it ‘our prayers have been answered’ and we dutifully attempt to keep our end of the bargain more out of fear of retribution than out of a sense of duty.

True prayer is expressed in thought, word and deed. Good thoughts, kind words and honest deeds are prayers in action. The goodwill we generate, the blessings we get from those you interact with and the sheer joy and happiness that pervades us from within are the real  fruits of the prayers we offer. You can then see GOD in the smiles of people, in the laughter that resounds and in the wonder of nature that abounds.

Remember:  “Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.”

Try this:

  1. Make a list of objects each starting with a different alphabet from A- Z. Eg. Apple, Bat, Crayons, Darts, etc.  Now every day take a different object and using that as the focus attempt to say a prayer that includes praise, pleas, thanks, hope, delight etc. Example : If CRAYONS is the object your prayer could read as under: Dear Lord, thank you for making me like a crayon. You have given me so many shades in personality. My ability to communicate, my strong sense of visualization and my ability to get through with people are special graces from you. Help me develop these skills to ensure that I am able to reach out to more people. There are times when I am vain about my abilities, help me realize that I am nothing without your grace……
  2. Outline a plan of action to do a social service project where you will actually spend your time in volunteering and helping. Examine the problems that you encounter in making the commitment and the benefits that you get in sticking to your commitments.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com