Prayer Through Lens of a Layman

Prayer through the lens of a layman

Teach me to pray lord, teach me to pray

This is my heart cry, day unto day

I long to know thy will and thy way

Teach me to pray lord, teach me to pray

 - Albert S.Reitz

E.M bound asserts "Prayer should not be regarded as duty which must be performed but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty". During my childhood days, my dad used to coerce me to recite the rosary (prayer), even though I was  indolent, drowsy and not interested. My parents and religious teachers often tried to elucidate the significance of prayer in once life, but their words expressed  no meaning to me because the doors to difficulties were still closed. When I was pursuing my Engineering degree, the difficulties encountered during my exam opened the doors for prayer, but this prayer was a "beggars prayer" which only desired favors. Frequently I was disappointed  because my favors were not granted and the results from the exams were awful.  When I was pursuing my Masters, even though I was faring well in my studies, I had several other responsibilities and difficulties which trampled my faith in Prayer . The sermon given to me/ us every Sunday made absolutely no meaning to me .  It was at this crucial time I began to analyze what exactly is prayer? what is the need for prayer? and what is the essence of prayer?   I wouldn't be surprised if many of you are baffled about prayer . This article aims at analyzing prayer in a different yet meaningful angle.

Prayer in depth can be defined as a carefully cultivated God's  awareness in our minds, an exclusive interaction with our creator/controller, profound reintrospection of  ourselves, an excellent opportunity for transformation, a unique opportunity to develop a attitude of eagerness and love, an initiative to obtain a source of  protection  from miseries and difficulties of life,  an opportunity to remember to remain humble, patient and tranquil.

Most of us acknowledge the fact that God does not provide all that we seek, we pray for our family/ friend who are on their death bed for speedy recovery but unfortunately they pass on to the next world, we pray to save our relationship/employment; but seldom miracles happen,  instead we end up being disappointed.  Frequently our prayers remain unanswered and many of us lose faith  in prayer.  It is very important to know that prayer is not a quick fix to our never ending problems neither it is a algebraic magical formula to end disappointment/ frustration. At this point I would like to quote the words from the famous hymn "In his time" sung by Maranatha singers;

In His time, in His time,
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

In Your time, in Your time,
You make all things beautiful in Your time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time

These words are an excellent reminder to us that God answers our prayers only  when he desires to answer and not when we want them to be answered. This leads us to think that God knows what we want and when should it be granted, Definitely he understands the needs and desires of each human being on earth.

Then why do we pray ?

Each individual will have his/her own answer to the above mentioned question.  In my opinion my daily prayer consists of three parts.

Prayer for emotional stability: "Lord I request you to grant me this day essential wisdom to handle my emotions/feelings carefully, courageously, in obedience to your principles, understanding that your principles are the only source for emotional health, vitality and abundant joy. Let me make conscious judgment of the people whom I meet today without thinking negatively." This is my opening prayer everyday before I begin my day. Anger, Anxiety, Impatience, frustration, stress, depression are a part and parcel of our everyday life. 
Being in the sales side of Engineering, I frequently interact with people from different countries, frequently  I encounter people who are angry, irritable and mean. After my interaction with them I used to feel irritable, short tempered, lost concentration and grouchy which made me feel that negative emotions were highly infectious. After being frequently out of mood I designed this prayer and remembered it whenever I encountered  a "moody person". This prayer is advantageous in many different ways

To attain tranquility easily and quickly
To obtain patience
Excellent way of self control
Helps in expanding the boundaries of tolerance
Positive thinking
Teaches the art of forgiveness 

Reintrospection of our conscience: Buddhists believe that mind and consciousness are the primary subjects for introspective investigation. Sinful activities like Murder, War, Rape, Torture violence (religious too) is the fruit of an undisciplined mind which has become an  unreliable instrument for examining   ones consciousness.  To discipline one's mind emotional stability is very important.  Reintrospection of   one's  consciousness through one's mind  provides an excellent opportunity for improving one's  life. I spend few minutes everyday reiterating all my days activities, if I have created some blunder I think about the ways which would help me resolve matters, many a times I have obtained solutions during this brief moment of reintrospection. The world would be a better place if each one us examine our consciousness on a daily basis. 

Acceptance:"Lord my life to you I bring, May each song I have to sing, Be to you a lovely thing, in your time"  The song of difficulties, misery, depression are the integral part of one's life. Many a times our mind and consciousness prevent us from accepting this song of life. Prayer seeking acceptance not only helps us to withstand difficulties/ miseries but also provides us a opportunity to consciously accept our fragile lives and respect , understand the lives/feelings of others.

As we step into the year 2010, among various other resolution, let us make a resolution to examine our consciousness for the betterment of ourselves and the society. In conclusion I would like to recite a beautiful prayer which I recite daily

" My Father I come into your presence as I begin this beautiful day. I come to find Wisdom so that I will not make those foolish mistakes that I made yesterday, so that I will know when to speak and when to keep silent, when to act and when to refrain from action.

My farther I come to find peace so that nothing may worry me or upset me today, I come to find courage to be patient to accept disappointment knowing you will turn all things for my good.

My farther I come to find love so that nothing makes me bitter unforgiving and unkind, Father you are my provider and I know that you will provide my days need.

Father you are my protector keep me this day free from all attacks from powers of darkness. Provide me with good insight of my duties and responsibilities. Thank You Lord"

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Comment on this article

  • Stacey, Mangalore / Dubai

    Sun, Jan 10 2010

    Prayer is a very inportant.We need to go to our Father in prayer everyday and besides not to forget, we also need to get our daily bread by reading the Word of God, to walk with God. Thanks for the article.

  • Fr. Vincent Menezes, Cascia, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 08 2010

    Prayer is also a GIFT form God." It is appeal of the Divine within to the Divine above." May the Lord give a taste of prayer to all the Daijiworld readers.Thanks for the write up.


    Thu, Jan 07 2010


  • Dennis Menezes, Jeddah/ Kinnigoli

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010 "Lens of a Layman” highlights the importance of prayer. Prayer is communication to God, by which we acknowledge Him as our Father in Heaven and we are His children. In prayer we ask Him as the children asks from their parents for their needs. For we depend upon the maker of heaven for everything in this world. In prayer we surrender to God that He is strong and we are week. When we pray He listens to us and grants us our needs as the Lord said:” Ask and it shall be given to you, seek you shall find and knock and the heavenly door shall be open to you.” Thank you sudeep for a wonderful article.

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur/ Mangalore

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Good thoughts and excellent article indeed. A person cannot write an article about the power of prayer and speaking to God (praying to God) is impossible unless the Holy Spirit guides him. May God bless you and your generation. A small error is found I quote from the article. My farther I come Unqute. Kindly correct the spelling.

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu, Dubai

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Prayer is what speaking to Lord Almighty,He is our Lord, God, Father, Best Freind, Saviour and Every thing, ask the forgiveness for hurting others, forgive others for hurting you, and choose the words carefully to speak to him as you are speaking to a freind or father, also listen to him what he wants to tell you, follow His instructions, ask him to teach you to accept His will for you, live your life according to His Law and Commands. He is the creator of this Universe and all things in it, He take care of this Universe deffinately he take care of you and me.

  • Glorio M. Fernandes, Doha, Qatar / Goa

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Thank you for the nice article. God Bless you.

  • Max & Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore/Houston, Tx

    Wed, Jan 06 2010

    Thanks for sharing the individual viewpoints on the value and importance of prayer. Very timely message for the New Year when the world is facing so many uncertainties in our daily life. Thanks very much for sharing your perception on prayer.

  • Felix F., India/KSA

    Wed, Jan 06 2010

    Praying to God directly in this manner, rightfully eliminates, time people spend on praying to saints

  • venkatesh pai, Kota-Udipi/Mumbai

    Wed, Jan 06 2010

    Good thought I would like to add here that we in life hurt others. Lets ask forgiveness to all i have hurt in thoughts, words and in action. I will show my love and respect to all living things should be ones action in life.

  • James Fernandes, Barkur/USA

    Wed, Jan 06 2010

    In addition to the beautiful prayer given in this article “Lens of a Layman” by Sudeep, the simple prayer Jesus taught us ~1977 years ago, is still available in the market I suppose. Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. For me, the appealing line is, ”Give us this day our daily bread” (With some butter and a soft drink for the food to go down.) I guess, approximately 40 or 50% of the people still pray for a daily meal.

    I don't mean they beg. Prayer of Saint Francis: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace where there is hatred, let me sow love when there is injury, pardon where there is doubt, faith where there is despair, hope where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console to be understood, as to understand, to be loved as to love for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life. Mahatma Gandhi included this prayer in his daily prayers/japas and advocated too. When did you recite your Angelus, lately?

  • Anil Pinto, Abu Dhabi

    Wed, Jan 06 2010

    Thank you for such a thought provoking article. Reminded me of how the daily hustle and bustle weans us away from God and makes us think that we can manage everything on our own. Also suggest readers to listen to the country song "Jesus take the wheel" by Carrie Underwood.

  • Lancy Fernandes, M lore/ Pune

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Wonderful writeup. Dear Sudeep What u have spoken out on prayer is very frank and spelt out by many these days. I myself take life, just one day at a time."To bring smiles in others life, in samll little ways" is my goal each day. That keeps me happy and cheerful. Actually prayer is loving God. Therfore one who loves God needs to love others.(1Jn4) because God does not wish us to love him in return but to show it to our neighbour.If this does not happen it is not worth a prayer done. Every night before retiring to bed i just look back at the ooprtunities God gave me to be like him. This leads and shapes my life. It was well said by a priest, "There can be Prayer without prayers (Vocal) and prayers without Prayer (meaning every word of the Prayer if uttering without meaning is worth not it). Prayer must tranform us.

  • Fr Canute Barboza, Ukkinadka Church

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Prayer is the absense of ego and presence of love

  • Gregory Castelino, Udyavara/New Zealand

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Prayer develops our Relationship with God.If we never speak to our spouce or never listen to anything our spouce might have to say to us,our marriage relationship will qickly deteriorate.It is the same way with God.Prayer is communicating with God,helps us to grow closer and more intimately connected with God,Prayer is simply letting our requests be made known unto God,it is telling God the father your needs,and asking Him to grant your requests to address those needs.When we do obey God by praying.he does promise to answer our prayers.

  • a d shenoy, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Without prayer, nothing is possible. With it,nothing is impossible. Life lived without prayer is life not lived at all. Do your best in life and then resort to the ultimate- the prayer.

  • Juliana, Mangalore/Doha Qatar

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Really it is very good article, prayer is very important in our day to day life, prayer without life is nothing,this article opened my eyes again.

  • sareetha, london

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    very nice article brother. god bless u always.

  • majeed, brahmavar/Dubai

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Good article to touch the heart. Prayer is mans greatest force which can shift the seas and move the mountains

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    It is an interesting article, urgently needed at this age. Can the human beings live without God? Some people will say very proudly that they can live without God, but the majority of them at the death bed, call upon God for emergeny intervention. Seek God early in life so that we can feel God very personally as we get old. Prayer is the oxygen supply line of the soul. There is not any particular place assigned for prayer. We can pray in dark rooms, while driving, in the bed, while walking. In my desperate situations of life, I prayed with tears, and God has always opened escape routes for me. God is greatly interested to listen to our prayers, especially from a broken and contrite spirit. How fast we respond to our children's cry for help, likewise God deals with His children. Prayer life will be a part of our life, as we pray and seek God's guidence in everything. What a privilege and personal right of life: to have direct connection with the Creator all the times without any appointment. Practice it always, and it will enrich our lives greatly. Pray from the depth of a thankful heart, and it will create peace and tranquillity in our soul.

  • Asha Nazareth, Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Nice article, Indeed prayer is very important to our life. Paryer can make life beautiful.Thanks

  • Max Sequeira, M'lore/Bahrain

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    This is an article perhaps changes ones understanding of prayer. it is so true that what we have been taught from our childhood and what prayer really should be are two different things. as the writer rightly said we often pray only when we are in some kind trouble or want something and our language of prayer is nothing but selfish and begging.we miss a kind of intimacy with God and just see him as a giver rather than a power that controls our life is about time that we teach our children the correct ways of interacting with this power and converse with the lord with all humility and gratitude.

  • Cynthia, mangalore

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Very good,it is nice to read from the laity about prayer. Its really a help to many.

  • Kavita Dantis, Moodbidri/ Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    An amazing article, which reaches the depth of prayer... And lots of things to learn which was not known to me.... U rock Sudeep!!! Brilliant!

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