Praying for God’s Will


If somebody is severely ill and is on the verge of death, can our prayers avert death? Or if it is destined to happen, will it happen anyway? Why do some people die early while many old and ailing people live a long life?

—Joyeeta, India


Dear Joyeeta,

Of course, prayer is always the answer to any karma that comes to us or anything that is difficult to understand. It is always better to pray for God’s will to be done, however that plays out! Praying for someone to be healed may not be in their best interests. Just pray for God’s will, in any case. Healing in some situations may not be helpful for spiritual growth. Here is where trust and acceptance in what simply is, are needed for the inner peace in all situations.

The law of karma works behind the scenes of our lives and can be an unforgiving taskmaster, seemingly merciless. Belief in the purpose of all things, even very sad things, and faith in the goodness of life and seeing the Divine hand behind all things is important to the soul’s deeper wisdom. Our suffering and the suffering of others can turn us inward to God and away from the vicissitudes and precariousness of material life that draws us further away from experiencing God.

In the Gita, Krishna comforts Arjuna in respect to our soul, that death cannot kill it, fire cannot burn it, wind cannot dry it, etc. We are the immortal soul and the purpose of everything that happens to us is to guide us toward wisdom.

There is a saying in the west, ‘The good die young.’ It may be that a karmic burden is released by premature death. We can’t really know. God is the God of life, not death. There is no death for the soul. Sickness and death, considered in this way can be a blessing. Staying open and grateful for all that comes to us, or that we see around us, is the surest way to understand, on deeper levels, what is God’s will. Then the realization that sickness and death are nothing to fear comes to us. Living more in the Higher Self and the joy that is in that Self, thanking God for the blessings of loving Him and for the blessing of every test that He sends is where comfort and joy abound!

Many Blessings,
Nayaswami Hassi