The time to pray to God for guidance is after you have meditated and felt that inner peace and joy;...If you think you have a need, you can then place it before God and ask whether it is a legitimate prayer. If you feel inwardly that your need is just, then pray: "Lord, you know that this is my need. I will reason, I will be creative, I will do whatever is necessary. All I ask of You is that You guide my will and creative abilities to the right things that I should do."
"Say to the Lord: 'Please tell me Thy will.' Don't say: 'I want this and I want that,' but have faith that He knows what you need. You will see that you get much better things when He chooses for you."
Making Prayer Effective
"Prayer is a demand of the soul. God did not make us beggars; He created us in His image.…A beggar who goes to a rich home and asks for alms receives a beggar's share; but the son can have anything he asks from his wealthy father...."Therefore we should not behave like beggars. Divine ones such as Christ, Krishna and Buddha did not lie when they said we are made in the image of God."
— Paramahansa Yogananda
The ancient scientist sages of India discovered how to experience an overwhelming communion of joy with a loving God. Paramahansa Yogananda teaches us how we can have this same direct experience of the Divine, "I prefer the word 'demand' to 'prayer,' because the former is devoid of the primitive and medieval conception of a kingly tyrant God whom we, as beggars, have to supplicate and flatter. There is a great deal of beggary and ignorance in ordinary prayer...Few know how to pray and touch God with their prayers."
"You have a divine right inherited from God to demand from Him; and He will respond to you because you are His own. If you constantly call to Him, He cannot escape the net of your devotion. If you pray until the ether churns with the light of your prayer, then you will find God."
In these challenging times, there is much we can do through the power of prayer — not only for ourselves but to serve our families, our friends, our neighbors, and the world. You can learn the effective prayer techniques of yoga through the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessonsand develop your own personal relationship with God.
Explore these online resources:
- The science of prayer
- Words of Paramahansa Yogananda on effective prayer
- Paramahansa Yogananda: "The Many Ways God Responds to Your Prayers"
- How to pray for others
- Worldwide Prayer Circle
- Tips and techniques of effective prayer
- Prayers and affirmations from Paramahansa Yogananda
- Request prayers for yourself and others
Other prayer resources:
How You Can
Talk With God
In the Sanctuary
of the Soul