Is it necessary to pray to the Lord?
The Lord is not pleased with the words of one’s praise. They make no change in the current of mercy and Grace which is being showered on us, for He is the embodiment of knowledge, love and mercy. Of course, by praying in humility and faith, we can take more advantage of that current of mercy. But He does not stand in need of vocal prayers, for He knows our hidden feelings.
Prayers cannot make any change in the current of mercy. It is what it is. But prayers can bring us into harmony with this current. It is not necessary to beg for our needs. This often becomes an obstruction.
The Lord is love. Is it proper for us to ask Him to be more loving? He knows all. Can we tell Him anything that He does not know already? Can we change His perfection? Is it necessary to pray to Him for more mercy when He is already giving us more than we deserve? By not voicing our feelings, we come nearer to His presence and Grace.
He is eternal. He is the same in the beginning, the present and the end. True from the beginning, true through the ages; He is true and shall be true.
Jap Ji, Stanza 1
The Lord is the embodiment of truth. Truth emanates from Him continually without His being reminded of it. How can man with his limited intellect advise Him? The current of His mercy is flowing everywhere. It is taking care of us of itself. It knows what is for our good. It is present everywhere. It perceives our feelings and hears us. Where then is the necessity to pray before Him?
Wherever I look, I see You dwelling there; to whom should I pray? The Lord hears all.
Gauri M5, 205
It is our duty to be in harmony with Him and thus to derive the utmost benefit. It is very necessary that we should meditate on Him in our heart, so that His reflection may shine within us. The soul is a particle and an image of Him and shares His wonderful qualities. To learn to understand the Lord is a continuous process and to succeed in it, we should surrender all our thoughts, powers and desires at His feet. It is strange that while we say that the Lord is present everywhere and is eternal, we try to tell Him about ourselves. Are we thankful to the Lord for all the gifts and mercies shown to us? If we are sincerely thankful, we become deserving of more Grace even without asking for it.
Guru Arjan Sahib in the fifth canto (sixth ashtpadi) of the Sukhmani Sahib speaks of the many gifts and blessings we are enjoying and tells us how to express our gratitude for them. He says that it is through His kindness that we enjoy many kinds (thirty-six kinds) of food, have many kinds of sweets, live in palaces, reside in comfortable houses, wear good clothes and fine ornaments, sleep on comfortable beds, receive public honours, have healthy bodies, all our faults remain hidden, and we ride elephants and in carriages, possess gardens, houses, estates and wealth.
The Lord has satisfied our desires. We are respected in this world and hereafter. We are beautiful and hear the Shabd with our inner ear. We have influence. All our works are successful, and we are honoured at the time of death. For all these and other blessings we should express our gratitude; we should remember that they come from Him and should meditate on Him. We should contemplate on Him and pray to Him. We should always remember Him. We should always praise Him and fix our attention on Him. We should not be remiss in His remembrance and should never forget Him. He should ever dwell in our hearts. Where else could we find refuge if we should give up such a bountiful Lord? We should keep in mind the Lord through Whose Grace we eat so many delicious kinds of food. By remembering Him, through Whose Grace we perfume the body with sweet-smelling scents, we will get salvation.
Contemplate with your mind on Him through Whose Grace you reside in comfortable houses. Remember all the twenty-four hours, Him through Whose Grace you live at ease in your home.
Oh Nanak! Remember always Him Who is worthy of your contemplation through Whose Grace you enjoy so many pleasures. Whom else could you love if you should give up Him hrough Whose Grace you have fine clothes and beautiful ornaments?
Praise always Him through Whose Grace you sleep on comfortable beds. Contemplate with your mind on Him through Whose Grace you are kept on the path of duty. By remembering the Lord you will be honoured and will accompany your Lord to His home, oh Nanak.
Love the Lord through Whose Grace you have this healthy body.
Praise the Lord through Whose Grace your secrets remain hidden and your mind is at rest. Kneel before the Lord and Master through Whose Grace all your defects are kept concealed.
Even if you do not receive His Grace, remember the Lord on high with every breath.
Oh Nanak, be a devotee of Him through Whose Grace you were given this rare human body. Oh mind, do not be remiss in remembering the Lord through Whose Grace you wear fine ornaments.
Oh mind, do not forget the Lord through Whose Grace you ride on horses and elephants. Keep in your mind the Lord through Whose Grace you possess lands and gardens.
Remember always, while standing or sitting, the Lord Who has moulded your mind. Meditate on the One Unseen, oh Nanak, Who will look after you both here and hereafter.
Oh mind, always think of Him through Whose Grace you give generously in charity and donations. Remember with every breath the Lord through Whose Grace you observe right conduct. Remember always the Lord of wonderful form through Whose Grace you also have a beautiful form. Remember day and night the Lord Who has given you this noble body.
Praise the Master, oh Nanak, through Whose Grace your honour is maintained, through Whose Grace the ears hear the music of the Name (the Sound Current).
The eyes see the world's wonders, the tongue becomes sweet, one lives happily, the hands move and work, the full fruits of action are obtained, the state of bliss is enjoyed, and one merges in all-embracing peace. How can such a Lord be given up and another loved? Love for Him awakens with the Grace of the Master. Do not forget the Lord through Whose Grace you have come into this world.
Oh foolish mind, remember the Lord through Whose Grace you have become great. Oh mind, live in the presence of Him through Whose Grace you have found the truth.
Oh Nanak, remember Him along through Whose Grace all obtain salvation. He Himself makes one remember the Name, the Lord Himself makes one sing His praises.
By His kindness you get light; by His mercy the lotus opens; when He is pleased He dwells in the heart. By His mercy the intellect becomes pure.
Oh Lord, Your mercy is supreme; one can achieve nothing by one’s own efforts alone. Oh Lord, Your devotee serves wherever You wish; oh Nanak, one has no choice in the matter.
One should not forget the giver of the blessings when one receives blessings. Those who forget Him do not remember death.
The gift is a blessing; the giver is forgotten; the fool does not think of death.
Dhanasri M5, 676
If, on receiving His bounty, we do not show sincere gratitude but merely express verbal thanks, we deceive both ourselves and the Lord. We cannot hide the emptiness of our gratitude from the Lord and the world. One makes himself liable to be punished such behaviour.