Examples of Prayers
Man has a body and a soul. The soul is as valuable in the body as is a beautiful pearl in a shell. Saints recommend prayers of several kinds. There are some who ask the Lord for the necessities of life so that after satisfying these needs they may give devotion to the Lord. The words "Give us this day our daily bread" occur in the Lord's prayer.
Saints consider that everything belongs to the Lord and pray for daily necessities so that after satisfying the needs of the body full devotion may be given to the Lord. The needs of the horse of this body should be satisfied first, and the needs of the soul should be looked after thereafter.
Kabir Sahib says that hunger interferes with one's prayers. Therefore one should satisfy one's hunger with a crust of bread and then engage in prayer.
Oh Kabir, hunger interferes with prayer; first take a crust of bread, and then engage in remembrance.
The Master says that it is proper for a devotee to ask for his needs in the beginning.
Kabir prayed, "Oh Lord! I cannot pray while hungry. I therefore ask for two pounds of flour every day." He also prayed for half-a-pound of pulse, so as to provide for both of his daily meals. He also made a request for a cot, a pillow, a bedding and a quilt, so that he could be free to engage, in devotion. But he did not ask for these out of greed, for he loved the Name Only.
I cannot engage in devotion while hungry, Oh Lord. Please take back your rosary.
Kabir Sorath 656-13
Pray give me two pounds of flour, and a little butter and salt. I ask for half-a-pound of pulse, so that I may have both of my daily meals. Give a cot, a pillow and also a quilt to cover myself, so that I may be free to remember You. I am not avaricious; I love Your Name alone.
Kabir Sorath 656-15
Dhanna Bhagat similarly prays, "Oh Lord! I adore You. You do all the work of Your devotees. I ask for pulse, flour and butter, so that I may be happy after taking them. I also ask for good clothes and shoes, as well as cereals. I also wish for a milk-giving cow and a buffalo. There should be a good mare to ride, and an obedient and sympathetic wife."
Oh Lord! I adore Thee. You see to it that all the actions of Your devotees are successful. Give pulses, salt and butter, so that I may be happy every day; give good shoes to wear, and seven kinds of cereals; a cow and a buffalo to give milk, and a mare to ride. Dhanna also asks for a good wife.
Dhanna, Dhanasri, 695-16
Saints and Adepts, while knowing fully well that the Lord knows one's needs, have given us some examples of prayers so that we may act in accordance with them.
The Tenth Guru (Gobind Singh Sahib) prayed for Grace for his family and his disciples.
He prayed, "Oh Lord! give us your hand and protect us. Fulfil our desires, so that our mind may rest at Your feet. Consider us Your own, and look after us. Destroy all our enemies. Save me, Oh Creator. I pray that my family, servants and disciples should be happy. Take my servants and disciples across the ocean of this universe, and destroy our foes."
How should I pray? Protect us by giving us Your hand. Let our desires be fulfilled. May our minds rest at Your feet. Consider us as Your servants and protect us. Drive away all our enemies. Save me by Your own hand. Oh Creator! May my family live happily and also all my servants and disciples. Give salvation to my servants and disciples, and destroy each one of my foes.