Why all our Prayers are not granted
It is a common experience that all things which one asks for in prayer are not received. The reason for this is that we do not know the mercy of the Lord, and ask for things that are not for our real good. That Power wants our evolution and progress. When that Power finds that what is asked for would involve the devotee further in the world, He does not grant it. If the Lord does not grant us the things we ask for, in order to save us from sinning, this is for our good.
In the Christian scriptures, it is said:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
We are entangled in bodily and sensual pleasures. Our vision does not rise above them. If we were to receive all we ask for, we would certainly be involved in more sensual pleasures and our sins would increase.
The question: When the Lord or Master hears all our prayers and has the power to grant them, why does He not do so? In this connection it should be understood that man is merely one part in the machine of the universe, and is related to all other parts. Our desires, therefore, affect the whole world. Our vision being limited, we cannot see beyond ourselves and our surroundings. But the Lord or the Master can see the whole of the universe. He knows everything from the beginning to the end. He knows the devotee's genuine needs also.
For example, the residents of a city which is being oppressed by unbearable heat may pray for rain, while the farmers are praying for more sunshine to ripen their crops. The human intellect is limited and an individual does not know whether what he is asking for, would in the long run be for his good. He simply looks to the immediate circumstances and is unaware of the future. Relying on his limited intelligence, he often prays for something that would harm him. In his haste, he demands many things and then realizes his mistake and is thankful that his prayer was not granted, for otherwise he would have suffered a great loss.
It is said in the holy Quran, "Just as a man prays for his good, he often asks for things that are harmful." The fact is that man is very hasty and short-sighted. The Lord or the Master knows our past, present and future. He knows when a thing asked for is not for our good, and therefore does not grant it. It often happens that a seeker asks for something which is not to his real advantage. He presses for it, and a promise may be made, but the thing is not given to him. A child may ask his mother for poison. Owing to his insistence the mother may make a promise, but she will never give the poison to the child, even though she may outwardly consent to do so. It is not for the good of the child, but he does not know owing to his ignorance.
The Saints, therefore tell us that we should always pray to the Lord:
Oh Lord! I know nothing. I have been sold into the hands of the mind and Maya.
Ravidas, Jaitsari, 7101
Nizami says: "Oh my Well-wisher, lead me to that which is for my good. Show me the path that leads to Your pleasure and to my salvation."
Keep me on that path, Oh my Well-wisher, That You wish me to lead. That path should lead to Your pleasure and to my salvation.
The Lord and the Master are omniscient and know fully well what is for our good and what would do us harm.
It is said in the holy Quran, "Oh Lord, give us in this world that which will help us hereafter also, and save us from the sufferings of hell."