Question: If we are praying for something we know we should be praying for, what is the most effective way of praying?

Sri Chinmoy: If you want to get results, your prayer has to be very, very intense and very, very powerful. Now I am touching my hand lightly, but if I grab it, I can feel how much strength I have there. So when you pray, you have to be very, very intense in your prayer. At that time you have to feel that what you are praying for is being done or is already done. Outwardly it is not done, true. You have to imagine that the thing that you are praying for is not only going to happen, but is bound to happen. Many times when you pray for something — “God, give me this” or “God, do this thing for me” — it is all in the mind. You have to feel the prayer has gone inside you, and if you do not get what you are praying for, the life-train will go away. The train is passing by and if you are not sincere, you will be unable to enter into the train. Intensity is needed, plus eagerness.

Prayer will be more effective if you do it on a regular basis. Punctuality is of supreme importance in the prayer-life or the meditation-life. If you pray and meditate, you are infinitely better than those who do not, but if you want to be an excellent seeker or disciple, do not neglect punctuality. One day you may meditate at six o’clock, one day at seven o’clock, one day at eight o’clock. That is not the right way. You have to be wise. You have to feel there is Somebody who is watching. Nobody is going to stay indefinitely and wait for us to do something good. If you want to do something good, then do it on time. There are many things in which you do not have to be punctual, because you cannot be punctual for everything. But you have to be punctual when it is a matter of prayer and meditation. It is God’s business whether He is watching us or not. But since God is omnipresent and omniscient, He is definitely watching.

Through prayer you can definitely realise God. But if you know how to meditate well, then you have tremendous confidence in your ultimate God-realisation — not over-confidence, but real confidence that you will be able to please God in God’s own Way. When you are only in the world of prayer, it is so risky. You are all the time begging for something to be done. Mentally you will fix a date — it can be tomorrow or ten days from now. Then when a year has passed, you feel that something is wrong with your prayer. But if you meditate well, you are always sure. If you meditate well, you feel, “God does not have to come. I have to go to Him, since I am hungry.” So the prayer aspect is to bring God to feed you and the meditation aspect is to go to God.

These inner things, especially prayer, we can do at any time. While walking, you can pray. While you are in the office, if you do not work for two or three minutes, who is going to catch you? Who is going to know what you are doing? When it is a matter of outer things — you have to write something, do something, say something — then people may say you are not doing your job. But meditation and prayer are inner activities. You can fool the whole world. They see you walking or sitting at your desk, but you are in your deep meditation. So here we have the advantage. When something is inner, nobody can see what we are doing.

To come back to your question, to get results from your prayer, you have to be very strict with yourself. Develop eagerness, eagerness, eagerness. Readiness is there, but readiness has to be transformed into eagerness and punctuality. It has to become like eating. Every day we take our outer food on a regular basis. When it comes to inner food we have to be not only regular but punctual. Most of my disciples, if not all, do not believe in punctuality. So the results remain upstairs. The most delicious mango remains up in the tree. God’s Grace, which is the wind, does not help the mango to descend.

Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy answers, part 14.First published by Agni Press in 1999.

This is the 1291st book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Sri Chinmoy answers, part 14, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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