Lord’s Prayer

Jesus Christ prayed:

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive as our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever.

The followers of Mahatma Buddha do not believe in prayers, but if their religion is examined closely, it will be found that they have also accepted the reality behind prayer. When they sit after bathing and cleaning themselves in the morning and evening, they send out good wishes of the following kind: "I wish the good of all the universe. May all living beings, whether below or above, whether on the left or the right, prosper. May all living beings in heaven, earth, the nether worlds and hell, have peace and goodwill." They do not ask for anything but simply send out their good wishes for the good and welfare of the entire universe, and the good of all is wished for. Real prayer, consists in wishing for the good of all. Hindus also pray. There are prayers in the Vedas which ask for physical and daily necessities. One of these is:

Oh Sustainer, Lord of the paths, we have yoked Thee to our chariot through our prayers so that we may attain success and salvation. Bestow upon us that wealth that men yearn for. Grant us the company of the courageous, the philanthropic and the compassionate Giver of food.

Oh powerful Deity, throw open the path that we may obtain food, that we may destroy our foes, that we may fulfil our desires. Oh Wise Deity, pierce the hearts of the avaricious with Your armour and make them subject to us.

Rig Veda, Mandal 6, Sukt 53

In their daily ritual, the Hindus pray as follows: —

Brahm (the Lord) who is the eye of the entire universe and the well-wisher of all, and who is pure and free from worldly blemish, is before us. May we see Him (His light) for a hundred years. May we live for Him a hundred years. May we hear Him (the Shabd) for a hundred years. May we sing His glories and through His mercy be free a hundred years, and may this state last for over a hundred years.

The Gayatri Mantra is nothing but a prayer. 

The Muslims pray:

God is one. God is detached from all. He gave birth to none. Of none is He born. He has no equal. Show us the right path.

Similarly, the Jains also pray. In all these prayers we are reminded of the ideal and of our ultimate destination, which is to realize the Lord. In the Vedanta, prayer consists in hearing and meditating and contemplating on the great saying (maha vakyas). 

Hafiz Sahib prays to his Master in the ecstasy of his devotion:

Oh Master, I am poor while you are the helper of the poor. I have been separated from the original home for a very long time. Have pity on my condition and take me back to the original home. Your intention was to show the miracle of Thy wonderful beauty; otherwise, in all his glory and wealth, what need had Sultan Mahmud for the tresses of (his slave) Aiyaz?

Oh Master! I am poor, and You are the helper. I have been separated from my original home for many ages. Have mercy and take me with you to the original home. I am drawn to you because of your incomparable beauty; without you I am nothing. This is the reason why Sultan Mahmud was so kind to his slave (Aiyaz). 

Hafiz further says:

I have only the desire to serve at Your door; oh Lord, have mercy on Your slave, and give him a kindly glance.

Shamas-i-Tabrez prays to the Master:

Oh Master, by bestowing the wine of homelessness which leads to the indescribable, You have turned the travellers into wine servers, (transformed them into adepts). Close my fault-finding eyes and give the inner eyes which can see the Reality.

He again says:

You are as Mount Caucasus is to the eagle; You are as light is to the moth; open the fountain of life-giving elixir all around me, and recreate the old legends. Intoxicate me with the wine of love and put my wandering and faithless mind in Thy service. For a while enter the mosque of my heart come and adorn this humble abode.

Oh Lord and Master! Just as Mount Caucasus is the home of the king eagle, You are the resting place of the bird of my soul. Were I a moth, You would be the candle in the flame of which I would sacrifice myself. Oh merciful One, shower Thy elixir all round about me, so that the stories about the pool of nectar, the rain or the water of life, and the fountain of life-giving water may come true. Give me the intoxication of love, and bridle the unruly intellect in the service of the Lord. My last prayer is that You should appear in the mosque of my body, so that my humble cottage may feel honoured and become pure.

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