The Importance of Prayer in the life of a man
PRAYER is a dialogue between man and god. It is being in campanionship with the almighty. Prayer is a binding necessity in the lives of men and nations. It plays an important part in most of the great religions of the world. Whatever religion the people follow, they need to feel themselves in touch with the supreme being and get in touch with him and this is the heart of the idea of the prayer. Man's friendship with god should enable him to grow like him. In the moments of vision, man seems to forget his body and the world he lives in. He is with his lord and benefactor. Man sheds his ego and other vices, imbibes humility and truth. Prayer is a study of truth, a sally of the soul into the unfound infinite.
Real prayer is pure adoration and dedication. It is deep and inward. It has no ultarior aim, no worldy thing to gain. Prayer with a purpose, with a material desire defeats its own purpose. Instead of asking for worldy things we must put our trust in god and entreat him to do what he thinks best. The almighty never fails those who surrender themselves completely to him. Prayer is means of riding the mind of its ills and filling it with pure thoughts and noble aspirations. True prayer is an effort for heart searching, a means tobecoming purer and nobler. The mind must be emptied of all worldy things so that peace may enter into it.
The cause of human suffering in christianity is the original sin. Hindus would consider this to be a cause by ignorance, Avidya, the great Maya, the illusinary world of make-belief. Muslims attribute it to the disobedience of god. Sikh scripures consider mind the light of the lord. At the same time this mind of man is blackened with the dirt of several past lives. Guru Amar Das ji sahib describes in detail the numerous ailments that mind suffers from in one's life and reminds that mind alone can make it clear from maya.
By praying we learn, "There is no great penance than patience; no greater happiness than contentment; no greater virtue than mercy; and no stronger weapon than forgiveness".
Guru Teg Bahadur ji Sahib says that mind caught in worldy affairs has forgotten the name of Gobind. Man's mand is an elephant and the gyan, hammer of the driver; Guru must always pull it up. If the mind is controlled, its cravings finishes and this can only be done through nam. He who conquers self, conquers the wholeworld. So, nam Simranis for the control of the mind and when it is under control it is united with the lord in which state it is above pain and pleasure.
Guru Nanak dev ji sahib says: "By singing the praises of the lord's name, one gains perfect glory in the lord's court. By singing his praises, thy dirt is washed off and the consuming poisen of ego departs'. The simplest form of prayer for the sikhs is kirtan, which is a kind of devotional music. Kirtan is the food for the soul; it is permanent treasure which never gets depleted. Whoever performs kirtan or listens to it is drawn towards god. His troubles and miseries vanishand his mind gains peace and equipoise. The slow and deep starins of music please the soul like the gentle drops of rain. The soul drinks the nectar to its fill and is engrossed in the divine nam. The Gurus demonstrated to their followers that nam and gurbani gives strength and power of forbearence.