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A prayer can transform

Prayer has the power to drastically transform man's destiny, writes Parmathi Raina.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 19:19 IST
Parmarthi Raina
Parmarthi Raina

Everyone has the need to pray. It is rare indeed to find anyone who has not at some time in his or her life resorted to prayer, either for the fulfillment of some want or to seek a solution to a problem. Prayer is a petition to a higher power. Most often it is to God. It is a call for God's help, for God's grace (kripa). Prayer is based on faith and presupposes conviction in its efficacy.

Praying comes naturally. A child will pray to God for a toy he longs to have. He feels he has the right to ask God for things, just as he would ask his father. Similarly a grown up, even if he is not disposed to praying, will inevitably seek God's help when a tragedy strikes and all other efforts to overcome it have failed.

Prayer is a great teacher and pacifier. It teaches one to see one's problems in a much wider perspective instead of in a narrow subjective dimension. It alleviates anxiety and relieves tension by psychologically providing hope and strength.

Prayer has the power to drastically transform man's destiny. God will forgive the most treacherous crime and over-rule karma by His grace.

Valmiki, the once-dreaded thug and robber, was transformed into an exemplary devotee and granted the intellect and devotion to record the historic epic Ramayana, elevating him to the stature of a maharishi, all through the Lord's grace.

Most of all, prayer brings about change in oneself even without God's intervention. Every time we pray, God is in our thoughts and this helps purify our heart, mind and consciousness. Prayer in repentance acts as a confession of wrongdoing and helps us change for the better.

At the lower level, prayer is a mere supplication for a material want or for a removal of obstacles. At the highest level the material aspect is superbly transcended through complete surrender to the Lord and acceptance that God's Will alone will prevail -- at which point prayer becomes a form of worship.

First Published: Jan 19, 2006 19:03 IST