KEEP ME IN YOUR PRAYERS !
A friend shared this story, and I am happy to share it further. The author is not known but that doesn't matter too much ; you will be left with a peaceful, joyful feeling at the end. Because spiritual truths have a universal appeal.
Since we always say "Keep me in your prayers" to each other, this small story explains the actual meaning of these five words.
A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agree that they had no other recourse but to pray to God
However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, there was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.
Soon the first man prayed for clothes and more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island.
The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a Voice from heaven booming within him,"Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"
"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,"the first man answered."His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything."
"You are mistaken!"the Voice rebuked him."He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings."
"Tell me,"the first man asked the Voice,"what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?"
"He prayed that all your prayers be answered."
For all we know, our blessings and our achievements are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another / others praying for us.
In India, for thousands of years, the most common daily prayers have been : Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah ... (May all be happy), Sarve Santu Niramaya (May all be safe and secure). Also, Sarvesham Mangalam Bhavatu ... May all be blessed with auspicious things and Om Dyoh Shantih, Antarikshah Shanti ... wherein we pray for all universe.
My Master, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (www.yogananda-srf.org and www.yssofindia.org), says :
★ When God does not respond to your prayers, it is because you are not in earnest. If you offer Him dry imitation prayers, you cannot expect to claim the Heavenly Father's attention. The only way to reach God through prayer is by persistence, regularity, and depth of earnestness. Cleanse your mind of all negation, such as fear, worry, anger; then fill it with thoughts of love, service, and joyous expectation. In the sanctum of your heart, there must be enshrined one power, one joy, one peace--God.
★ As you cannot broadcast through a broken microphone, so you cannot send out prayers through a mental microphone that has been disordered by restlessness. By deep calmness you should repair your mind microphone and increase the receptivity of your intuition. Thus you will be able to broadcast to Him effectively and to receive His answers.
★ More than in any other relationship, we may rightfully and naturally demand a reply from Spirit in Its aspect as the Divine Mother. God is constrained to answer such an appeal; for the essence of a mother is love and forgiveness, no matter how great a sinner her child may be. It is the closest and most beautiful of all the relationships that the Lord has given us.
★ Though God hears all our prayers He does not always respond. Our situation is like that of a child who calls for his mother, but the mother does not think it necessary to come. She sends him a plaything to keep him quiet. But when the child refuses to be comforted by anything except the mother's presence, she comes. If you want to know God, you must be like the naughty baby who cries till the mother comes.
★ You can't just sit there and wait for success to fall into your lap; once your course is set and your will is firm, you have to make a practical effort. Then you will see that whatever you require for success starts coming to you. Everything will push you in the right direction. In your divinely surcharged will power is the answer to prayer. When you use that will, you open the way through which your prayers can be answered.
★ I was kneeling in prayer in the chapel--I was thinking of something that was coming into my life that filled me with apprehension. I knew it was not the will of God that I should be saved from this experience. Even at that moment it was moving toward me. Suddenly God told me the prayer He would listen to, and I said quickly: "Change no circumstance of my life. Change me." (Shri Gyanmata, Paramahansa Ji's disciple).
★ The demand for the Lord's reply should be strong; a half-believing prayer is not sufficient. If you make up your mind: "He 'is' going to talk to me"; if you refuse to believe differently, regardless of how many years He has not answered you; if you go on trusting Him, one day He will respond.
★ If you can just once "break bread" with the Lord, break His silence, He will talk often with you. But in the beginning it is very difficult; it is not easy to become acquainted with God, because He wants to be sure that you really desire to know Him. He gives tests to see if the devotee wants Him or something else. He will not talk with you until you have convinced Him that no other desire is hiding in your heart. Why should He reveal Himself to you if your heart is filled only with longings for His gifts?
★ Rather than be always striving for personal happiness, try to make others happy. In being of spiritual, mental, and material service to others, you will find your own needs fulfilled. As you forget 'self' in service to others, you will find that, without seeking it, your own cup of happiness will be full."
Indeed, such help to others need not be with money alone, we don't have to be rich to be serviceful. A kind and encouraging word, a small thoughtful action, a sincere prayer can have amazing results. For those prayed for. And even for those praying, because what goes out comes right back.
Blending Science, Mgmt. & Spirituality in Corp. Training / Online Life Coaching.