Nov 112006

There may be mixed feelings or conclusions about the outcome of our prayers to God. Sometimes God responds to the prayer of an individual and at other times He doesn’t. Let me analyze the situation because this is a very typical question to which nobody can reply straightforward in affirmation or negation.

Why do we pray? Our purposes may range from acquiring worldly objectives (family, health, wealth, fame, etcetera) to cursing a tormentor. Not only do we pray for our requirements and likings but also for removing the objectives of our dislike. Moreover, we may pray for some desires that originate in our mind due to jealously or rivalry. We may also be afraid of losing what we possess, so we pray for the growth of it, or for keeping at least the status quo of our possession.

In fact, there is no difference among likes, dislikes, desires, ambition, etcetera, as their origin is the same, i.e., attachment and hatred. However, although I didn’t desire certain things in my life (Please see my article: God knows what I really want), they nevertheless happened for my overall good. Does it mean that we should not pray for anything and accept whatever we get from our sincere efforts?

If we take astrology for granted, we find that a life pattern on the basis of the karmic effects of earlier lives is already set up prior to birth. But there is always a scope for the betterment of the doomed people and downfall of the righteous people on account of one’s freedom to act. It is considered that, other than man, no species has such freedom. It is man who never feels satisfied with his position and looks for the advice from an astrologer to alleviate his suffering or to get desired results.

If someone, in a desolate state, happens to take shelter at the feet of the Lord, or leaves everything at His mercy, then saints have assured betterment of the situation. This betterment should not be measured in terms of physical objects and fulfillment of ambitions, but by what is gained in peace of mind or spirituality.

Where to pray to God? According to the saints one need not run to any specific place or do it ceremoniously. A well-known saying is given below:

A man while passing his stool was remembering God or praying. A faithful associate of God happened to notice it. He kicked the fellow for doing prayer in such a nasty place and went away. Afterward he met God in heaven and found that He was yelling due to pain. The associate happened to ask the reason, to which God replied: “You kicked the fellow when he was remembering Me. Wherever a devotee remembers Me sincerely in whatever condition or mood, I happen to descend in his heart and feel his pains.”

SP Sharma, India


About me.
I was born on 8 December 1945 and had self-realisation on 20 August 1977 at the age of 32. Thereafter I automatically shifted to the devotion path and a sort of relationship developed with God. Starting as a servant to God, then friendliness with God and then started liking God in child form. There is nothing left except to enjoy divine love and feel its presence in the whole world.

  5 Responses to “Does God respond to our prayers?”

  1. If there is truly a higher power out there to deliver that which has been asked for, then why is there still conflict in the world and world peace is not within arm’s reach ?

    Intellect might answer prayer but I feel God stopped listening far too long ago and now the human race has to fend for itself without a safety net…

  2. Dear Erica,

    This is a very important question you’ve raised, Erica, and one I know many people are asking. Why have we no peace in the world? I asked the same question in an article I wrote recently called When Two or Three are Gathered.

    I certainly believe in a higher power and I do believe in prayer. What I also believe is that to have peace I don’t need to wait for world peace but to explore what peace means for me. Do I feel peace now? If not, how can I be at peace? I start from that point and work my way outward.

    So please explore this for yourself. Your question sounds like the first step in a wonderful journey of exploration of who you are. Only then can you discover whether there is a God or whether there is a God that has stopped listening.

    With love,

  3. Dear Erica,

    Usually wise men say that parents are the cause of our birth, and bringing up is their duty, but they are not responsible for our actions. God has created this world with virtues as well as with vices and given us the freedom to choose and act. No doubt the majority of people remain indulged in vices through force, wealth, and their associates. In safeguarding their interests they are prepared to shatter the world peace.

    God, like a father, trains some people who are wise and virtuous to take care of other people, with a view to infuse peace in a family, society, nation or in the world according to their capacity. After rigorous training they attract others through certain means (love, affection, faith in virtues, writings, miracles, healing, etc.) for keeping peace. Please note that there is a difference between orthodox religious leaders and such trained persons as saints.

    You seem to be the right person who has realized the importance of world peace, of which many people are not aware, but some people are devoting their lives to it. Don’t depend on God or blame Him; do it yourself at any level like a soldier. A soldier sacrifices his life for his nation or for some cause; however, he is not able to see the victory or defeat or fulfillment of the cause. He gets posthumous honor for his sacrifice and eternal peace.

    In fact, in this world there are manmade and natural adversaries which saints and scientists have taken as challenge/opportunity. If a situation goes out of hand then God may incarnate as mentioned in the scriptures of Hinduism but His ways will be through punishment of the troublemakers, which is against the method of the saints.

    SP Sharma

  4. I’m an atheist, And to me, i don’t think god responds to any of the prayers. Some people have been praying for many years and still don’t get their prayers answered. so i guess we are all alone in this crewl world, now the humans are going to have to do things without praying knowing that god has no time to respond to us anymore for all the bad things that are in this world.

  5. Dear Camarillo,

    In fact, one could be considered an atheist till real knowledge is gained through some spiritual experience. The majority of people belong to the class of atheists in the real sense though they may be seen praying. Through discussion alone one could not become a firm believer. It is only through personal experiences that one believes in God.

    Here is a story of two people in a village. One believed in God and the other was an atheist. They were always arguing and trying to convince each other with their personal views. Villagers were tired of their daily sessions of arguments. One day the elderly people asked them to sit together overnight and settle it between themselves. The whole night they argued fiercely. In the morning people found that the atheist had become a believer and the believer turned an atheist and the arguments between them were continuing. The problem of the villagers remained the same.

    I blamed God due to the inherent disgust in my heart on 4 July 1977 for all the calamities and bad things happening in the world and the reply I got is enumerated in my article Death – a great spiritual teacher, indeed!. Then I believed in God and developed a relationship with Him not for any worldly purposes but for the sake of love. Let me improve the world in my capacity and crave for no personal gains.