Prayer Makes Possible a Communion of the Spirit

Stepping into the world of Science and Spirituality

Chaitanya Baweja
Oct 7, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

I grew up in a very spiritual household. My mom and her father were extremely devotional. As a child, I was taught meditation and the ideas of Hindu Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita.

But, I was always fascinated by logic and rationale. I dreamed about space and I spent most of my evenings deriving mathematical formulas and browsing technology magazines.

I used to believe that the function of science was to explain everything, and that unexplained phenomena were the province of spirituality.

Growing up, my biggest inspiration was Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of a rural boy with humble beginnings becoming the pioneer of India’s Space Program and then our 11th President filled my heart with joy and excitement. I wanted to follow his footsteps.

For my birthday, I asked for his biography: Wings of Fire. It’s one of those books that I wish I hadn’t read earlier so that I could enjoy it fully every time I read it.

While the biography is filled with thought provoking ideas on science, spirituality and the human spirit, one that stuck to me the most was:

Kalam believed that prayer acts as a stimulus to creative ideas. He said that Our Creator has stored within our minds — great potential and abilities. Prayer helps us to tap this potential.

This set me into a search for a middle ground. I inspected a variety of philosophies, a variety of faiths. I did this with the critical lens of a scientist, but with respect and faith taught to me by my parents.

I eventually stopped looking at science as some thing which takes man away from God. Science then became a tool for self-realization, a never ending voyage into promises and possibilities.

I always write down quotes from books and articles that I really like. I decided to dedicate this story to share some of my favourite quotes on prayer, hoping like Kalam that they facilitate a communion of spirit between all of us.

Cry of the Soul

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“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” — Mohandas K Gandhi

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger persons. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.” — Phillips Brooks

“Prayer is not eloquence, but earnestness; not the definition of helplessness, but the feeling of it; not figures of speech, but earnestness of soul.” — Hannah More

“Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.” — Mohandas Gandhi

“Our prayers should be burning words coming forth from the furnace of a heart filled with love.” — Mother Teresa

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go.” — Abraham Lincoln

Importance of Prayer

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“Prayer does not change God, but changes the one who prays.” — Soren Kierkegaard

“Pray as though no work would help, and work as though no prayer would help.” — German Proverb

“Keep praying, but be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your prayers.” — William Culbertson

“Prayer is the key to Heaven, but faith unlocks the door.” — Psalm 95:6

“Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance, but taking hold of God’s willingness.” — Phillip Brooks

“In the life of the Indian there is only one inevitable duty — the duty of prayer — the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal.” — Ohiyesa

What to Prayer for

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“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you’, that would suffice.” — Meister Eckhart

“One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.” — G E Lessing

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” — Corrie Ten Boom

“Work as if you were to live one hundred years; pray as if you were to die tomorrow.” — Benjamin Franklin

Benefits of Prayer

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“Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.” — Fyodor Dostoevski

“I have had prayers answered — most strangely so sometimes — but I think our heavenly Father’s loving kindness has been even more evident in what he has refused me.” — Lewis Carrol

“Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself.” — Mother Teresa

“The greatest prayer is patience.” — Buddha

“We, ignorant of ourselves, beg often our own harms, which the wise powers deny us for our good.” — William Shakespeare

Feel free to share some of your favourite quotes in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, sharing, and following! :)

Interfaith Now

Stories about faith, spirituality, and religion to bridge gaps, expand perspectives, and unify humanity.

Thanks to Allison J. van Tilborgh

Chaitanya Baweja

Written by

Machine Learning Engineer | Python | Data Analytics | Economics | Physics

Interfaith Now

Stories about faith, spirituality, and religion to bridge gaps, expand perspectives, and unify humanity.

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