What Prayer is not

May 29, 2006: A lot of people try to change their lives by numerologically altering their names, consulting tarot-card readers, wearing special gemstones on their fingers, chanting special mantras, wearing a taveez from Ajmer-baba  etc. In other words, they try to intervene in the karmic process of their lives.
I feel it is somehow “wrong” to seek to tinker with your life in any manner.

My analogy is: God gives us a car and entrusts us with the job of becoming careful, skillful drivers. He keeps for himself the job of traffic administration, as well as road and vehicle maintenance. Apart from periodically checking the oil-levels and tyre-treads, we should not concern ourselves too closely with internal mechanisms, because it distracts us from our main job of learning to be good drivers!
If we sincerely feel that our life is somehow out-of-sync, and we have a bad feeling about things, the remedy is not to try to contact our guardian angel, spiritual guide, guru etc., but to pray. True prayer in these moments is laying yourself open before God, and saying, “God, look, my life hurts. I’m not telling you what to do, just look at my life and do whatever you deem fit. I accept whatever you do; I always have and I always will, no matter what.” And in moments of peace, tranquility and happiness, it’s also necessary to cast a smiling glance upwards and let him see the joy within you.
One more thing: Prayer, as I speak of it, is not purely an act of volition. It is that, but it’s also Grace. The Boss gives you his direct phone number, mobile number, etc., and takes your incoming calls. That’s Grace. At times, I’ve known the inability to truly pray, and I consider such “exclusion from the Inner Circle” pure hell. On the other hand, if you find that your line of communication with the Boss is clear, it doesn’t matter what sort of jam you’re in here on earth; it’s nonetheless heavenly.

Maybe I’m a little scared of the Boss, or maybe I love Him too much, but I don’t want to cosy up to his receptionist or foreman. And I definitely don’t want to go asking Him for petty favors. I’ll manage with the vehicle that he’s given me, and take the road conditions as they come.


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