FW 405-407. On 6 June 1978 Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on prayer during a meeting of the Meditation Group.
Question: What is the best way to pray for others?
Sri Chinmoy: The best way to pray for others is first, before you even start praying, to invoke the Presence of the Supreme. Then, once you feel His Presence, try to see or feel the people for whom you are praying inside the heart of the Supreme’s Presence. Once you invoke His Presence, He will definitely come in His Subtle Body. His Presence may not take a human form, and you may not see Him in a human body. But you will be able to feel His Presence, and in your feeling a form will be embodied. Inside the form, try to feel the person for whom you are praying. If you can invoke the Supreme’s Presence and feel inside His Presence the human beings for whom you are praying, then that will be the most effective way of helping them through your prayer.
But before asking the Supreme to help with your prayer, first ask Him whether you are supposed to pray. This you have to do. Otherwise, you may be praying for others out of sheer attachment, so that the other person will be pleased with you and do something for you in the outer world. If you get a message or inner feeling from the Presence of the Supreme that you should pray for that particular person, then only you should pray for him. Otherwise, the Supreme’s Presence will be there, but He might not be at all pleased by your prayer. And even if He answers your prayer, it will be with tremendous reluctance, because the after-effect may be harmful. Before you pray, if you get express permission from the Supreme to pray for someone, then you are doing the right thing. But if you do something in this world without His approval, sanction or permission, then you will be committing a mistake.
Suppose somebody is very sick. You may think that if you pray for him, it will be a good thing, because he is suffering. But perhaps God wants him to have this experience at this particular time. You have to know that God is infinitely kinder than any human being could possibly be. If you pray to God, “Cure him, cure him,” you may be standing in God’s way. God wants to give him the experience of suffering in His own Way. So always ask God if it is His Will.