The Purpose of Prayer

Praying. What is the purpose? It is to link to a higher power for the religious. But what do people actually pray for, and does it come to pass?

I will admit, I have prayed, especially when I was younger. It was not everyday thing; I prayed now and then and my parents were never strict on the concept. I was free to choose. So I prayed on my own account once in a blue moon when things were not going my way. But some of us have had moments like this, haven’t we? Our lowest moments can drag us down to a point unknown even to ourselves.

But there was a difference for me, my parents were relaxed Christians. It was at this time I slowly began to see myself detaching from the concept of religion. When I was 6, the day I asked a teacher if Adam & Eve or dinosaurs came first (dinosaurs rule).

When I prayed, which was almost a year ago (I found myself in one of the most awful positions I have ever been in). I was already an atheist with a distrust of religion; an atheist praying for guidance at the worst point of his life. The end  result was this did nothing to get me through my troubles. On the other hand when I tried a meditation class for a short time, I did feel more at ease, since it was trying to connect your body.

Which brings me to a quote by Sri Radhakrishnan, the second President of India:

"Prayers take the character of private communications, selfish bargaining with God. It seeks for objects of earthly ambitions and inflames the sense of self. Meditation on the other hand is self-change."

Is this not the case with praying? We all want something to go right, something to improve ourselves individually. Asking friends, relatives and priests to pray for an individual because something went wrong or is not going right. Is this not a cry out for attention in a time you are wanting something for yourself?

Don’t get me wrong, some people pray for their children’s health, or a relative to heal. There are a multitude of things people pray for. The sad thing is when you have people praying for desires, for stupid reasons like scoring in a sports match, or thanking for the food on your table. This is what I like to call the Santa Claus principle.

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Let’s take an example.

Child A comes from a well off family and makes a christmas list of expensive gifts to Santa and on christmas day receives everything on the list.

Child B comes from a humble family, and also makes a list, but on Christmas Day may only get one, or perhaps something else. Maybe Child B gets nothing.

The end result is Child A continues believing in Santa, where as Child B may not.

Both wanted something, but only one had the resources to get it. This is the same result with a prayer. A well off family and a humble family saying grace at dinner, who has more to be thankful for?

This is the problem with praying, it does nothing to a person’s individual status.
But am I comparing this to meditation? Not particularly. I am no expert on the topic, but if we look at the two, which one develops you as a person more? Is meditation any different from prayer?

I say, yes it is.

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