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Thursday 11 May 2000

'Praying helps you take the right decisions in life'

MUMBAI: ``To know God you must cultivate contact with him, you must make him real in your daily life.. and prayer is one way of communicating with him,'' writes Dada J.P. Vaswani in his book Around the Camp Fire.

It is said that the greatest power that God has given to any individual is the power of prayer. Praying might seem to be a practice pursued only by the spiritually inclined or those in need of help. But it is observed that a few minutes spent in the service of God every day has positive effects on a person's attitude and thinking also. As the saying goes, ``One who kneels the most, stands the best.''

People tend to pray in difficult times and seek solutions from God when they have lost hope. As Abraham Lincoln once said, ``I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.'' While prayers are known to help people, spiritual teachers have also explained that once praying becomes a practice, it enhances a person's ability to face trying circumstances in life.

The underlying message being that praying helps an individual believe in God and thus in his or her own strength and ability. It is not the long hours spent in praying that gives solutions to people's problems, but their belief in God and in themselves.

It is also important to ensure that praying is not a mere lip service, but a service of the heart. For instance, the Jews consider praying as an opportunity to connect the heart and the soul with God. Prayer is verily a dialogue with God, more importantly with oneself where an individual bares his or her thoughts with no apprehension of being judged or condemned. In his writings on the Bahai faith, Bahai'u'llah has observed that praying helps a person take the right decisions in life.

Moreover, there is no place or time that is inappropriate for praying. Silent prayers can be offered even in a busy schedule. It is said, ``We need not wait for an opportunity to kneel before God. We can pray and talk with the Lord wherever we may be.'' -- Roli Srivastava

©Copyright 2000, The Times of India
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