Paramahansa Yogananda
Quotes on Prayer

PRAYER

flowerTrue prayer is an expression of the soul, an urge from the soul. It is a hunger for God that arises from within, expressing itself to Him ardently, silently. Vocalized prayers are wonderful only if the attention is on God, and if the words are a call to God out of the abundance of the soul's desire for Him.

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Never think that God does not answer your prayers. Every word you have whispered to Him He has written in His heart, and someday He will answer you.

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We must withdraw our thoughts from sensations and be silent within. Silencing the thoughts means tuning them in to God. That is when true prayer begins.

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Prayer with devotion is a wonderful means of opening oneself to the freely flowing blessings of God, a necessary link of man's life to the Infinite Source of all benefaction.

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Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from hatred to love. Lead me from limitations to Thine inexhaustible power; lead me from ignorance to wisdom. Lead me from suffering and death to everlasting life and enjoyment in Thee. Above all, lead me from the delusion of human attachment into realisation of Thy love eternal, which plays hide-and-seek with me in all forms of human love.

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Father, reveal Thyself.

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Beloved Divine Mother, hide no more. Destroy the wall of my ignorance, and appear unto me in all Thy splendour.

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Divine Mother, show Thyself in the light of my flaming love for Thee.

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Into the temple of peace come Thou, O Lord of Joy! Enter my shrine of meditation, O Bliss God! Sanctify me with Thy presence.

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Make my soul Thy temple! Make my heart Thine altar! Make my love Thy home!

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O Father, Thine unlimited and all-healing power is in me. Manifest Thy light through the darkness of my ignorance.

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May Thy love burn forever on the altar of my heart, and may I be able to kindle love for Thee on all heart altars.

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Divine Mother, lift the veil of darkness which hangs before me whenever I sit with closed eyes to meditate on Thee.

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Prayers are Real "Things"

by Mary Peck Stockton (excerpt from SRF Magazine Summer 1997)

... In November 1983, I was facing major cancer surgery. I called SRF Headquarters for needed supportive prayer. During the period immediately following the surgery my prognosis was not good. I had lost an extremely large amount of blood. I was told that I might not live through many more days. So I lay back in my hospital bed and gave myself completely to God, telling Him that I was ready and willing to come Home. I was fully awake and not on drugs except pain medicine when needed. When I relaxed, fixed my gaze on the spiritual eye and "let go," I began to have a life-changing experience that stays with me to this day. Because the total experience is so very personal, I shall not relate all the scenes my spirit was guided through. However, I was with Master and I knew I was safe. It all began with music and instructions being sung to me that no one else could hear. After a short time I felt a warm, soft hand take mine and was told not to be afraid. I then saw Paramahansaji smiling and reassuring me. He asked me to go with him. Extreme peace and joy stayed with me the entire five days of this experience. I was so very happy! All the questions I had in my mind for many years were answered mentally.

As I held on to Master's hand we traveled a long, long way through dark space until I was placed on an extremely large white wing. Other hands held me onto the wing as I was assured I would not fall. All the while singing voices were "instructing" me, and Master held firmly to my hand. He would smile and change his appearance; I said, "Master, they won't recognize you—you'd better stay the same." He laughed and appeared to me as he was in his 1920 picture wearing the turban. He said, "I like being this way most."

On the great wing I was transported from place to place. I viewed scenes, people, and actions as on a giant oval movie screen. I heard voices from the past of people I had known.

I heard people praying for me by name. Each prayer was "received" as a white feather placed on the great white wing upholding me. I was shown that prayers are substance! They uphold you and your dear ones.

I was taken through many experiences where I saw heavenly sights. I heard supportive comments about good things I had done throughout my life. I realized that life is one great continuum in eternity. After traveling very far I was led up to great massive heavenly gates. There were two long lines of people awaiting their "turn." As I moved up in line I heard the voice of my son, Peter, calling for me to come back. (He was not in the hospital room nor in the state of Washington. He was praying for me in California.) He told me he needed me.

Then I was asked if I wanted to come back. I said, "Yes, my son needs me." I was then told that I must bring a message back to tell specific people. That message was that we must forgive those who have hurt us. To forgive is to be forgiven! I was asked not to reveal the entire experience, but pass on the message of forgiveness. Since that time I have gone back in my life's memory, forgiven those who have hurt me, and asked forgiveness for my transgressions. Because I have done these things, I am more at peace than ever before. ...

Master's words ring in my ear, "Meditate, meditate, meditate!" I am convinced we receive help from God, Christ, and Guru when we call on Them in prayer. Don't forget—prayers are real "things" that uphold us. I also know that one day Master will return to me with his hand extended and, at that time, I will take it happily and return to God.

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References:
(aoy) — Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
(bg) — God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda
(dr) — The Divine Romance by Paramahansa Yogananda
(jt) — Journey to Self-Realization by Paramahansa Yogananda
(me) — Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda
(os) — Other Sources... Talks, Booklets
(sc) — The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda
(sm) — Self-Realization Magazines