A woman once asked Swami Kriyananda to pray for her son who had been critically injured. She was deeply distraught by her own inability to pray without her mind wandering to worldly affairs, even in a moment of family crisis. Her mind, in the midst of her prayers, insisted upon drifting toward trivia, “What do I need to prepare for this evening dinner?” “I hope it doesn’t rain.” “I’m getting behind with my work at the office.”
Her plight was revealingly self-honest but not unique. Have you not found your mind wandering to petty concerns in situations that demanded your full attention? Is it any wonder why our prayers seemingly go unanswered if our attention is elsewhere?
Take heart, God knows our human frailty and accepts all prayers offered sincerely, but those offered unceasingly with full attention are more likely to draw a divine response. Paramhansa Yogananda said we should be willing to “shake the world” with our prayers if that is what it takes to gain God’s attention. Half-hearted prayers draw but a half-hearted result.
To feel God’s love, first give your own love to God, for it is by giving that we receive. Then commune as a Divine Child calls with faith upon a devoted parent. Offer your prayers as “loving demands,” knowing what belongs to God’s is also ours as His children.
God cannot help but answer those who lovingly persist “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and especially, “with all your strength” until we feel a response. In the calmness of your heart, listen for the whispers of inspiration, guidance and assurance, all the while offering your love, your prayers, your very self to your One True Friend.
In disease or in health, in success or in failure, in poverty or in prosperity, in joy or in sorrow, in disaster or in safety, in life or in death, I stand immutably, unalterably, unshakably loyal, devoted, and firmly loving Thee, my Heavenly Father, forever, forever, and forever!
(Whispers From Eternity, by Paramhansa Yogananda)