"Those who really seek the path to enlightenment dictate terms to their mind. Then they proceed with strong determination." - Gautam Buddha.
Mind is a bad master, but a good servant.
Prayer is like breathing. Without breathing we can't live. Prayer is communion with Him. We become more like Him.
Prayer is not only asking Him for this or that — the relationship is valued in itself, as in other relations of love.
Does not God know what we need? But God wants that our will should not bend towards negative desires, but desire the good with deep fervour. We must also acquire the capacity to will the good, so that it happens as we wish.
In unselfish prayer, the first focus is Him. His name, His kingdom, His benign will. The second focus is other people, inclusive of the self. Prayer can achieve miracles of healing and change that cannot be explained medically. In prayer, we may be alone. But group prayer is more lasting and full of zest.
Prayer has to be learnt. It is like swimming. When you are first thrown into water, you may sink. By repeated struggle, you acquire the skill of keeping your head out of water, afloat.
The first rule in prayer, as in swimming, is not to give up just because you do not succeed in a couple of attempts. Prayer is a spiritual skill to be acquired by regular practice.
The second rule is to 'let go', to let the water support you for relaxation. Swim with the current. Have full faith.
The third rule is to keep up the practice.
The fourth rule is to develop the discipline of prayer through self-control and fasting.
Fifth, use your entire body in the service of prayer.
Sixth, keep balance between personal prayer and satsangh.
Seventh, prayer needs to be nourished by reading scriptures and articles and meditating.
Prayer is for common good. It creates all-round goodwill and love for fellow humans. It lays a solid life foundation.