Does prayer really work? Does it lead you to God? Does it solve your problems?
I guess these are questions that often rise in our minds at a deeply rational, logical level. But I have come to believe that the questions are misplaced! The question we really need to ask ourselves is, of what use are all the religious rituals that we conduct monotonously and mindlessly when we are not mindful of Life’s gifts__the grace, abundance, blessings in our lives__ itself and we continue to still worry, fear and agonize over what the (unknown) future holds for us?
I am reminded of a conversation that I had with our family priest a few years ago. A self-confessed champion of piety, who called himself a ‘strict Brahmin’, he came to me asking for career advice for his son who was looking to join an IT services company after completing his undergraduate studies in software engineering. He explained that his son had been selected by a leading software company through campus interviews. Yet he claimed he was worried. Our conversation went somewhat like this:
Me: Why are you still worried Sir?
Him: I don’t know if IT companies can offer job security the way the government can!
Me: Why would you, a faithful servant of the Lord, for years now, be insecure __ and want to seek security in a government job?
Him: Sir, how can God guarantee job security?
Me: What is God there for then if HE/SHE can’t guarantee you security?
Him: Sir, velayadathengo! Don’t pull my leg, Sir! God can’t come and tell me that my son’s future is assured!
Me: If God can’t tell you that, the one who has direct access to HIM/HER, who else can reach God? Why do you pray then?
Him: Sir, praying to God is my profession. I still need ‘something else’ to tell me that my Life is on track and that my family and I will be secure!
With due apologies, and respect, to my family priest, I must confess that this is the problem with praying mindlessly. That ‘something else’ which my priest was looking for__and I hope he found it in his own way subsequently__is ‘mindfulness’. When you are mindful of the present moment, and are grateful for it, that would be prayer enough to make you realize your God!
You will then find God in this blessing__that you have to access Facebook and are able to read a post. You will then find God when you feel the air in your lungs. You will the find God in the sunrises and sunsets that happen outside your window every single day without fail. You will then find God in a child’s smile, in leaves rustling in the night breeze, in a cow mooing and in a dew drop! You will then find God in every form of creation that you connect with. You will then find God in each moment. And then you will understand and value what being prayerful is all about. You will then realize that such true prayer, of living in the moment, alone can lead you to your God!
Author: AVIS Viswanathan
the happynesswala - Inspired Speaker, Life Coach and Author of "Fall Like A Rose Petal"; Inspiring 'Happyness'! View all posts by AVIS Viswanathan