What to pray for?

Discussion in 'Queries on Religion & Spirituality' started by pooja, May 12, 2006.

  1. pooja

    pooja New IL'ite

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    Hi Friends,

    My thoughts on what should I pray to god for keeps changing from time to time.

    ...sometimes, I feel that I should pray for me and my family, as everyone is praying for their own family.
    ...sometimes I feel that I should not be selfish and pray for the well being of the whole world
    ...sometimes I feel that I should pray only for a few things and not bother god with innumerable requests
    ...sometimes I pray for everything to convey that god's blessings are needed for everything in my life
    ...sometimes I am not clear whether it is ok to pray for money

    Wanted to ask all of you as to what you all pray for? That way, I can get some clarity around my prayers. Thank you.
    Pooja
     
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  2. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Food for thought

    Dear Pooja,

    Yours was a very interesting question indeed. I too shall wait for the responses for this from our ILites.

    True, when we pray, we are always asking for something or the other from our dear God. I personally want to thank Him for the air, light, life and the mere existence. But believe me, it never stops there! I am always asking and asking for one or the other of my wishes that has to be fulfilled. But my Gita teacher says that it is okay to ask. He will understand! And I like to believe that!

    L, Kamla
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
  3. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear pooja yes it does stump us.....

    dear pooja,
    nice name for this thread to be started by u.....u know i used to for so many years think when i go i must ask god this or that....but the minute they open the screen for the grt sight i am lost by the sheer beauty and only when i have left the premises do i get reminded oh i never asked what i want to....the distraction of the beauty of the lord is so much then u come out thinking about his magnanimity rather than ask for anything petty....when i asked long back when am i going to get a house for self...i heard him say when ur body is itself not urs to dwell always then y bother abt a house.....which once it reaches others will also vanish...right very true...from then i dont ask any such materialistic....but keep asking to see his grace everywhere....and so true he is all over...though there is house there is food there is clothes still we long for something and in the end it is his grace and love and nothing else we have as our wealth.........so whether we ask or not we r given what is rightfully ours....regards sunkan
     
  4. AGR

    AGR Bronze IL'ite

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    Re: Be Open in heart

    According to my understanding.......u can ask God what you want.........keep praying to him.........but dont pray for the results..........the God will decide whether he needs to give you what u have asked for..............let ur prayers be sincere.........so that u have the capacity to accept whatever good god is giving...........it is of the belief that God always gives us the best....it for us to accept it or not.....how we keep ourselves mentally and spiritually..........
     
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    You Pulled Me In, Puja!

    Dear Puja,
    I was keeping out of all the religious discussion so far. But by your most pertinent question you have pulled me in.
    What to pray for? When "pooja" herself asks, its time we look deep into ourselves. I have a numerology buff as my friend. He consulted numerology pundits when his business suffered a set back. And finally we were in the temple together. Seeing his fervent prayer I asked him "What did you pray for?"
    He told me in all earnestness ," You see all the experts say that my recent losses are due to the bad door number of my house. So I am praying God that he should somehow change my door no, so that I can be prosperous."
    I could not help laughing.
    "Remember, my friend, you are in the presence of the Omnipotent God. You could have prayed directly for your peace and prosperity. Instead you have lowered the level of Almighty to that of a Municpality official and all you ask for is change of door number."
    He did not have any response for that.
    But coming to think of that Puja all of us have the same weakness when we pray for intermediaries. Now just remember the common prayers.
    'God please make outrageously rich so that I will be happy.'
    'Oh, God, please solve the water problem in my house so that I will be peaceful.'
    'Oh God, please make me pass my exams so that I will be successful in life.'
    In all likelihood God will not grant those prayers. Not because He is hard-hearted but because He loves us.
    For He knows that we can never be happy when we are 'outrageously' rich. Nor can any solution to our water problem bring us peace that will last for more than a few minutes. Nor is passing an exam linked to success in life.
    Then we step up our prayers to the next level.
    God please make me happy, peaceful and successful. But the problem is we have diverse definitions for the above terms. Take success for example. My young client who has Rs.10 crores in bank deposits says that he can't consider himself successfull unless he has Rs.100 crores in deposits.
    And I have this neighbour who is retired from Government service for whom success can be defined as passing stools in the morning without any problem.
    Happiness and peace, have also got their share of diverse meanings. The meanings vary not only from person to person but also from time to time for the same person.
    When I was a child having a lot of fire crackers for Diwali was enough to make me happy. As I grew into a young man I wanted beautiful clothes and thereby gain the glances of beautiful women. And when you go past that stage also, all you want is......... what is that you really want.....
    Now God is not only Omnipotent (all powerful) but also Omniscient (all-knowing). As I kneel down before Him or as I fold my hands in supplication in His Loving Presence I don't know what is my need which He is not aware of.

    That's why Gibran says in his prayer to God

    "Thou knowest our every need even before they are born.
    Thou art our need.
    In giving us more of Thyself, Thou givest us all."
    That to me is something that can come closest to the best prayer.

    In some of the Christian traditions when a person is about to die he is made to recite the following prayer:
    (This is the prayer of abandonment by Viscount de Charles Eugene Foucauld ):
    Father I abandon myself into your hands;
    do with me what you will
    Whatever you may do I thank you;
    I am ready for all: I accept all
    Let only your will be done in me and in all your
    creatures
    I wish no more than this O Lord
    Into your hands, I commend my soul


    In our Vaishnavite tradition when a person is about to die "karna mandiram" is uttered in his/her ears so that he gets a peaceful death.
    Part of that manthiram is the sloka from Gita : Chapter XVIII Sloka 66 where the Lord says,
    "Abandon all your duties and actions and take refuge in me.
    I will release you from all your sins. Don't grieve."

    sarva dharman paridhyajya mam eka sharanam vraja
    aham thva sarva paapebyo mokshayishyami ma shuchaha"

    I personally feel these two prayers can be uttered even while we are alive, especially when we go to sleep.
    What more can we want from our All-loving, All-knowing God!
    regards,
    Varalotti
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    This is what we pray for......

    To summarize our prayers,



    'O Lord,

    Let me be cheerfully and enthusiastically active. Let me enjoy whatever I do.

    Let me contribute to the future; let me not try to control the future.

    Let me influence positively through my life and language; let me not try to change others.

    Let me have the wisdom to discover satisfaction and security within myself, whatever be the setup '.

    If we have such a prayer, God will certainly co-operate.

    Praying thus, let us grow and contribute our best.

    Sarvae bhavanthu sukhinah sarvae santhu niraamayaah
    Sarvae bhadraani pas(h)yanthu maa kas(h)chid dukkhabhaag bhavaeth

    May all be happy. May all be free from disease.
    May all realise what is good. May none be subject to misery.

    Durjanah sajjano hooyaath sajjanah s(h)anthimaapnuyaath
    S(h)antho muchyaetha bandhaebhyo mukthaschaanyaan vimochayath

    May the wicked become virtuous. May the virtuous attain tranquility. May the trannquil be free from bonds. May the freed make others free.

    Svasthi prajabhyah parpaalayanthaam
    Nyaayyaena maargaena maheem maheeshah
    gobrahmanaebhyas(h)s(h)ubhamasthu nithyam
    Lokaassamasthaassukhinobhavanthu

    May there be happiness for all people
    May the rulers righteously rule the earth
    May all beings ever attain what is good.
    May all beings be prosperous and happy

    Kaalae varshathu parjanyah pr(u)thvee sas(h)ya s(h)aalinee
    Des(h)o(a)yam kshobha rahithah brahmanaassanthu nirbhayaah

    May the clouds pour rain in time.
    May the earth be blessed with crops.
    May our country be free from calamity.
    May holy men live without fear.

    Sarvastharathu durgaani sarvo bhadraani pas(h)yathu
    Sarvassaddhbuddhimaapnothu sarvah sarvathra nandathu

    May all be freed from dangers. May all realise what is good.
    May all be activated by noble thoughts. May all rejoice everywhere.

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
  7. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Varalotti,

    I have guarded admiration for yr stories. But with this piece on prayer, you have my limitless appreciation.

    thanks
    VR
     
  8. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Mrs Chithra,

    On reading your piece on prayer, I am now totally devoted to your work and philosophy. Allow me to say the truth, when I say that my admiration and appreciation are unbounded.

    thanks
    VR
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidya.....

    You are always good at " word-art" ! I lack that when sentiments overpower me.
    I accept your words with all humility.
    Right now my prayer is " God bless I L for putting all of us across the globe, in touch with eachother."
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    You made my day, Vidya!

    Dear Vidya,
    I am happy that there is at least one place where I can get limitless appreciation from you. Thanks for those nice words.
    I have been wanting to say these ideas in the religious forum. Was thinking of starting a thread for that when Puja's question came. So I thought that the command came from Him and wrote whatever He taught me all my life.

    I am an old fashioned writer and don't know how to communicate in less than a paragraph. Even while I was in school my friends used to say 'sridhar you are the only person who writes three pages of answer for a question which clearly wants an one-paragraph answer."
    I tell them, 'three pages, yes. But all of them were in one paragraph'
    But you convey a lot by writing less.

    From my side I have limitless appreciation for your posts - whether it is your prize-winning entries on role model contest or your criticism of my serial or response to the sloka thread.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2006

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