Is It Okay to Pray for Our Needs? Or Should We Just Surrender and Accept Whatever God Gives Us?


Even though we want surrender to Guru or God, we are have our daily needs and wishes: we suffer from illness, wealth issues, relationship issues. Is asking God to fulfil those wishes okay? Because once we surrender, we should not ask anything of God.

—Nandhini, India


Dear Nandhini,

Yogananda answers your question in this way: “It is all right to pray to God for things. It is better still, however, to ask that His will be done in your life. He knows what you need, and will do much more for you than the best that you can imagine for yourself.”

Yogananda counsels to be very honest with God: “Say what you really feel, not what you think He wants you to say or feel. Be completely sincere with Him. He knows anyway what you are thinking… Pray with utter confidence that He is listening. For indeed, so He will, if you pray to Him with love. Pray from your heart, with deep intensity!”

So yes, when you are sick, sincerely pray for health; if money is missing, pray for divine assistance; if there are relationship troubles, pray for His help to resolve them.

But then always add: “Nevertheless, Your will be done. I trust in You. What you give I take. You already know my needs and what is best for me.”

Yogananda finally counsels: “Above all, seek Him for Himself, for His love. Pray to Him, ‘Father, reveal Thyself!’ If you call to Him in that way, sincerely, He will be with you always.”

May you learn the secret of praying like a child, while trusting and surrendering to Him,

P.S. All the quotes come from the wonderful book, Essence of Self-Realization.