An Explanation by Maharaj Sawan Singh
For initiation into spiritual practices and for circumstances favourable to a spiritual way of life, it is very important to implore God or the Master for help. When a person realizes that despite his best efforts all his plans and endeavours have failed, he gets disheartened and gives up trying. But one who is realistic tries to achieve his objectives and at the same time recognizes God as the prime mover and the cause behind all causes. He relinquishes ambition and leaves the results of his endeavours to God, believing implicitly that God knows and does what is best for him. He thanks God if the results are favourable (from his point of view), but he also accepts with a smile the outcomes that fail to meet his expectations. At every step, he beseeches God for help because he knows that there are so many things that are beyond his capabilities. This call for divine help and intervention is generally called prayer.
God lives in our hearts and is the fountainhead of all powers. When we remember or think about him, we derive power from him that helps us find solutions to our problems. This process also gives us patience, contentment, calmness and the capacity to endure. Our soul is a descendent of the Lord and is imbued with great potential. A person makes use of these powers as his mind generates potential energy through concentration at the time of prayer. Those who are familiar with inner supplication make use of the inner grace of the Father, while others who raise their hands in external prayers in temples and mosques receive the benefit of their prayers in proportion to their faith and the concentration of their minds.
Prayer is a universal sentiment. When a person finds himself helpless in a given situation, he seeks the help of some superior power who, in his judgment, has the willingness and capability to redress a grievance or an unmet need. Similarly, when he finds himself in a forbidding situation – perhaps his friends have turned against him, his relatives have deserted him, he has nothing to fall back on or sees no way out of his predicament – he begs God or those august souls who are one with him for help. All religions allude to the fact that one can achieve spiritual perfection only through supplication to God or the Master. Prayer is the shortest and the most natural way to communicate with God.
Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. III