When we are praying, know that God is hearing us better than we are speaking

Suppose we are speaking with someone and we sense that they aren’t really hearing us, that they aren’t offering us either an attentive ear or an understanding heart. On seeing their inattentiveness, we feel annoyed with them.  

Suppose, however, they aren’t hearing us because we aren’t able to express ourselves properly. Our emotions are such a confusing jumble that words elude us. On seeing our inarticulateness, we feel annoyed with ourselves. 

Our communication with others can thus be impeded by either their inattentiveness or our inarticulateness. Thankfully, neither of these obstacles can impede us when we try to communicate with God through praying. Why not? Because he is supremely attentive and supremely perceptive. 

  • Supremely attentive: God is always present with us in our own hearts (Bhagavad-gita 18.61). And he is present there exclusively for our deliverance. He is never inattentive to our wellbeing. 
  • Supremely perceptive: He has been with us through everything we have experienced during our long and troubled journey in material existence. Even if we can’t articulate our hopes, fears or whatever emotions are churning our inner world, he still gets us.

What impedes our communication with God is that we have turned away from him. We don’t care to communicate with him for developing a relationship with him. In bhakti-yoga, praying is meant primarily to function as a means for us to turn to him and give him our attention and affection. 

While praying, rather than worrying if God is hearing us or if we are speaking clearly, we can focus on offering our consciousness to him. When we thus turn to him in devotional surrender, he will grant us inner peace and guide us to the ultimate shelter (18.62). He will hear our prayers, articulate or inarticulate, and reciprocate by fulfilling our deepest needs.   

Think it over:

  • What two factors impede our communication with others?
  • Why can these factors not impede our communication with God?
  • While praying, what can we focus on?

***

18.62 O scion of Bharata, surrender unto Him utterly. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode.

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