The Power of Prayer
Some of us start our day with prayer, some of us end our day with prayer. Some of us pray in tough situations, some of us pray when things are going well. Some of us pray to different Gods, some of us don’t pray to a “God” at all. Some of us pray with flowers, some of us pray without flowers. Some of us pray consciously and some of us don’t know if we’re praying. But what is the one thing about prayer that unites us all?
Prayer is about purpose. It is about the intent. It’s about those few minutes of mindfulness when suddenly the world takes a back seat, kind of like that blurring of everything else in the movie when two lovers meet for the first time, and suddenly the rest of the world doesn’t matter, for that one split second, and the love between the two souls is pure, and the only thing that’s real. That’s what prayer is too, but it’s about the love within us, for something deeper within us, whether we want to call it God, Energy, Soul, Higher Consciousness: prayer is that moment when we recognise that there’s something bigger than me, and it's the reverence to that bigger story, that “larger than me” feeling that we might be very familiar with or don’t understand at all, but for that moment of prayer, we recognise that there is something. What that something is, might be different for each of us, but that striving for the higher purpose is the clarity that prayer provides to each and every one of us.
We might pray for something, whether that’s happiness, safety for our loved ones, or we might not. It doesn’t matter because that moment of prayer may or may not change the world around us, but what it certainly does is, change something within us. It gives us the strength to deal with any adversity that comes at us, it reawakens the love that we have for those around us because ultimately, the love we show towards those around us is a reflection of the love with which we pray, it strengthens our bond with the oneness of the Universe, where all of a sudden, if I can feel true love in that instant for my Higher Self, can I translate this love to all beings around me, all these beings that seem separate from me but are also forms of My Higher Self, of My God?
There are different ways each of us pray. Jaap (Chanting of Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare) for me, is the most powerful prayer: it’s a reminder to me that God is with me at every instant of my journey, and is providing me the armor I need for every battle that life throws at me. With that assurance, life is like a video game where I know what I have to do at every moment and when I don’t, I have the video game creator guiding me through every challenge and teaching me how to be more prepared, and with that, true fearlessness seeps in.
The Bhagavad Gita always said to me that the first divine quality we develop is fearlessness. This made sense at an abstract level, but what was I supposed to do when fear grasped me in a “tough” situation? I got this answer through Chanting: Jaap made fearlessness a reality for me, knowledge that I lived by and no longer an abstract concept or a faraway goal that I strived towards, it was a reality that became more real everyday as I became closer to God, the God that’s within me and beyond me, the God that is leading me on this journey, as Krishna, as my friend, my parent, my benefactor, my ally.
This Friday, along with your flowers, we sent you this prayer that’s so close to my heart, and so many others’:
As we embark on our moments of mindfulness, that sacred moment between us and our Higher Self, use this prayer to really ask ourselves how we can tap into this Highest version of ourselves, this divine version, the knowledge of which exists within us, but we seem to have forgotten, can we ask our Higher Selves to guide us back to this knowledge, and can we listen?