Question: What is the supreme purpose of prayer?

Sri Chinmoy: The supreme purpose of prayer is to become one with the Consciousness of the Supreme. Prayer does not mean simply to call on the Supreme to cure somebody who is sick. If your mother is sick, you should say, "Supreme, my mother is my dearest on earth, but she is Your dearest as well. In this life you have given me the opportunity to think of my mother and to pray for her. But I do not know what is best for her. Only You know. She may need an experience in the form of fever or some ailment. You know far better than I do." If you pray to the Supreme, "Do what is best for my mother," then you are praying that the Supreme's Will be done. Otherwise, you are only begging and begging and binding yourself to one particular desire. Today you are praying for your mother; tomorrow, for somebody else; the day after tomorrow, who knows? There is no end to your prayer. This kind of prayer is full of desire. But if you pray to become one with the Will of the Supreme, then you know that you are totally free.

If you offer your prayer to the Will of the Supreme, then you get the real result. The real result means that you enter into the experience of your mother. Right now you can never be one with her experience. She will have her own experience and you will have your own experience. But if you can become one with the Will of the Supreme, then the Supreme will make you feel the experience that your mother is going to have before your mother even has that experience.

So, pray. But always it should be done for the sake of the Supreme, not for your sake. If you can please the Supreme, then He will try to please you in every possible way — even in your emotional life. But again, He will use His own Wisdom and He will not feed your wild desires. He will not let you burn your fingers, even if that is what you want.

Offer your prayer totally to the Will of the Supreme. The purpose of prayer is to be offered up to the Will of the Supreme. When this happens, prayer becomes one with Truth, one with the fulfilment of the Supreme in the way that the Supreme wants to be fulfilled.