The stream of happenings, come and go irresistibly around and above you, and that which gives the balance to face them steadily is prayer. – Swami Chinmayananda
What is Prayer
Prayer or worship is a technique by which the entire thought processes in the worshipper are mobilized and directed to flow towards a perfect point of contemplation, seeking a total identity with the Truth contemplated upon. When this is done in a spirit of devotion, the worshipper comes to realize his total oneness with the object of worship.
Of all spiritual practices, the most efficient is the constant remembrance of the lord with a heart overwhelming with love and devotion (Upasana).
Why we need Prayer?
The scriptures declare that the grace of the omnipotent Lord is functioning through us, in all our activities. If this is true, there can then be no limit to the abilities and capacities of man. Since the infinite is functioning through us, infinite are our potentialities.
At times we have experienced excellence in our work that we cannot reproduce at will. At such moments we become excited onlookers at our own splendid performance. Such spontaneity is not always with us; it comes of its own accord; we seem to have no control over it. If a person is capable of maintaining self-willed thought (Sankalpa) consistently and with single-pointedness of purpose, he is sure to succeed in any undertaking.
Activities gain a potency from the power of thoughts that feeds them. When the feeder is choked and dissipated, the executing power in the external activity becomes feeble. Thoughts from a single pointed mind must flow steadily in full inspiration, enthusiasm and vigour towards the determined goal that the individual has chosen for himself in life.
Hence there is a need for prayer. Through prayer, we invoke the ‘deity,’ meaning ‘the potential in any given field.’ There should be a total effort for carving out victories in one’s field of endeavour. Of all methods of self-development, prayer is considered the simplest and most effective. So attune yourself to the Higher Power in whatever way you can, and visualise whatever form you like – whatever gives you peace, a sense of divinity and encouragement in your heart. Read about the importance of Puja in our lives.
Prayer is not to change the patterns around you, but to give you protection from them. – Swami Chinmayananda
Importance of Faith
It is well known that greater the consistency with which an idea is maintained by an individual, the more he becomes fixed in that temperament. The more often a particular type of thought is entertained in mind, the deeper becomes that thought channel. These deep patterns of thought indicate the pattern of desires which the individual entertains. It is a psychological fact that when we are determined to achieve a goal, we develop a faith in the goal and a confidence in ourselves.
This faith is what ultimately leads us to success. Faith is a growing belief that is rooted in understanding. As faith increases, the mind becomes more and more efficient. A single pointed mind is a mighty force against which no obstacle can stand for long. Success is directly proportional to the depth of faith we have, both in ourselves and in the goal.
The Power of Invocation
Imbued with faith, man invokes the potential in the activity of his choice and gains the fulfillment of his choice and hence his desires. Any activity done with full faith always brings about success. When we surrender in devotion at the altar of the Lord, we liquidate our limited ego. Then the power of the Higher flows through us and helps us achieve that which seems difficult or impossible. This is the power of invocation.
Prayer is power. Invoke it and bless yourself and others around you in your community. – Swami Chinmayananda
Reference: Prayer as Invocation by Swami Chinmayananda