Prayer is a universal Feeling
Prayer is a universal feeling, which a person feels when discomforts, trouble, disease, danger or calamity visits him and he wishes to avoid these things; or when he wishes to satisfy some bodily need or obtain spiritual gain; or when he wants strength to face some difficulties because he does not find sufficient power in himself; or when he wants the help of a powerful being. We see every day that we are often obliged to ask some stronger or more capable person to help us. When a student cannot solve a problem, he seeks the aid of his teacher. Similarly, in the case of illness, we ask a physician to treat us. A subordinate asks his officer to help him. These are examples of a kind of prayer.
When we face any difficulty or an enemy pursues us and we find no refuge, we ask for help from the powerful Lord of the universe or from persons in Whom He is manifest. This is called prayer.
It is natural to ask a more powerful or more able person to help us, and it is all the more natural to turn for help to that Supreme Power Who is the Lord of all regions and universes and is their Creator, or to One who is One with Him. The fact is that we cannot help praying to Him.
How prayer should be offered so that it may be acceptable to the Lord and to the Master, is the next point to be considered. All the religions say that supplication to the Lord or to the Master is the way to obtain Grace of every kind. It is only through prayer that spiritual advancement can be achieved. Prayer is the most natural, direct and easy means of connecting individuals with the Creator, and connecting the slave with the Lord. Every seeker needs prayer from the beginning to the end, until he realises the Lord and merges in Him.
Through prayer, all bodily, religious, national and social needs are fulfilled. The ailments of mind and body are eliminated, and prayer ultimately becomes the means of bringing about the union of the soul with the Lord. By the Grace of the Lord, the mind – which is like a crow that eats filth or a crane that eats fish – becomes pure like a swan. Whether you are a swan, a crow or a crane, only His mercy is of any avail.
If He so wills it, He turns a crow into a swan.
Sri Rag War M1, 91-4