Intellectual and logical Difficulties in Prayer
Many would like to know why we should pray, when the Lord knows all our needs. A father, for example, takes care of the expenses of his family's food, clothing and education without being asked to do so. If we are to be given only after asking, then it seems possible that we might not be given something owing to our lack of knowledge or comprehension. It is also possible that we might ask for something which would be to our disadvantage. We know from experience that we sometimes pray for things and get them; but when they turn out to our disadvantage, we are sorry that we prayed for them. Just as a father knows what is good and essential for his child, similarly, our heavenly Father also knows what we really need and what will be to our advantage. Saints, knowing that the Lord knows our needs, advise us to pray with this in mind.
Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
St. Mathew 6:8
Great is Your glory, for You know our innermost feelings.
He knows the inner thoughts of all hearts; He knows the sufferings of the good and evil.
Sri Mukh Wak, Patshahi 10
The Saints have given examples of short prayers for our guidance, and some of these are cited later. The purpose of these prayers is to help us to know our needs and to have them fulfilled. When we receive their fulfilment, we should be thankful. The Saints ask us to pray for the fulfilment of our desires as a child asks its mother with full confidence.
We are children; you are our Father and Master; guide us.
Asa M4, 450
We are ignorant and simple children; oh Father, instruct us.
Kalyan M4, 1321-4
Even if our prayer for the removal of a calamity may not be granted, it always happens that we get added strength to bear it and in this way we better realize our latent capacities. We sometimes think of ways and means by which these calamities and sufferings can be removed.