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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Power of prayer can be amazing

Satish K. Sharma

On a visit to an Ashram recently, my wife and I entered the room in which the Swami was chanting mantras along with over two dozen men and women devotees. A few minutes later, the Swami opened his eyes and signaling the end of the session said in a serene voice, "Before we leave, let's pray for our sister so and so who is here and, her husband who is to undergo prostrate surgery tomorrow."

Everyone closed his or her eyes for a minute after which we dispersed. Of the entire visit, it is this last gesture that I found the most meaningful.

A friend was seriously ill.
Doctors' prognosis was depressing. His wife was distraught. She rang up a common friend who was far away and pleaded with him to come immediately. I knew it was not possible for him to come. And that's what he must have told her and yet she felt better after talking to her. Why, because he had also assured her that he would pray for her husband's recovery. The inevitable happened but in those brief moments, our friend's assurance gave strength to the lady.

Sometime ago, another friend who lives in another city, suffered a severe heart attack and was hospitalised.
I rang up his wife. She told me that the friend was now stable and a bypass surgery had been planned. Then, before I could say anything, she said, "Please pray for us."

I was touched. My wife and I did that and everything went well. I am not sure how much our prayer helped my friend, but it certainly helped my wife and me. And we were happy.

Praying is a simple but powerful act. One could say that the simplest prayer is the most sincere too. But when it is done for others, it assumes profound significance. It might not be answered but it is the easiest way to bond with others in their moment of crisis. That's why someone said, "The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer."

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