“Considering the vastness of the universe, with its countless billions of galaxies, surely it is superstitious to believe that the Creator of this immensity listens to our prayers.” A scientist once challenged Paramhansa Yogananda with these words.

TYogananda quote on God as infinite and infinitesmall. Does God really listen to our prayers? Yogananda teachingshe Master replied with profound wisdom, as well as gentle wit: “Your conception of Infinity is too finite! Although the Lord is infinitely vast, He is also infinitesimally small. He is as conscious of every human thought, every feeling, as He is of the movements of the vast galaxies.”

Jesus Christ spoke a similar truth: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without the knowledge of Our Father. Even the very hairs on your head are counted.”

If God is watching the least little sparrow, why does it often feel that His attention is elsewhere when we need Him? In his beautiful book, Whispers from Eternity, Yogananda guides us on how to pray effectively to draw a divine response.

First, he suggests that we think of prayers not as beggarly petitions, but as demands that we can rightfully make because we are God’s children. Then, he recommends these simple steps:

  1. Calm your mind with a brief period of meditation.
  2. Concentrate on a specific prayer-demand, and saturate it with devotion.
  3. Feel that behind the screen of your devotional demand, God is listening to the silent words of your soul.
  4. Remain concentrated and calm. You won’t be able to focus your soul power if your mind becomes restless or agitated.
  5. Believe absolutely that God has heard your prayer-demand.

Once we have done our best, we still need to understand that our prayers may not always be answered in the way we expect. Don’t jump to the false conclusion that God hasn’t heard you.

The challenges that we face in life are drawn by our own past actions—our karma. Why would God override the laws that He Himself has set in motion? As Omar Khayyam stated in his Rubaiyat (as paraphrased by Yogananda), “No amount of moral living, no theological hair-splitting, nor any piteous tears can erase a single one of them.” So don’t plead for amnesty from Divine Law, but demand deeper understanding as well as the strength to learn from and overcome all obstacles.

In the last analysis, the most important aspect of prayer is not the favors received, the problems removed, or even the understanding gained. It’s simply learning to trust that God really is listening, and to speak to Him with complete openness and honesty. Once we realize that He’s present for us eternally, we can live with an inner reassurance that everything in our life is, always was, and will continue to be held in the loving sight of God.

Your friend on the journey,
Nayaswami Devi

21 Comments

  1. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you for this beautiful article.
    With his grace , we shall follow the Master’s word and be in communion with God always
    Aum,
    Prem

  2. Dear Nayaswami Devi,
    Of all the magnificent messages in this single post, the part that touched me most deeply was the closing: “your friend on the journey.” You have always been just that.
    Aum. . .

  3. This is reassuring to hear again and again because unfortunately we tend to forget it. Thank you Lord for always being there and listening to our prayers! Thank you dear friend for reminding us. Blessings of peace and faith to all!

  4. Dear Ji’s
    Thanks for sharing to remind us to commune with God , treating him as our Friend Obviously simple and easy to stay connected.
    With Gratitude
    R Sundararajan

  5. Aum so good to be reminded of Masters kind advice.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your words of wisdom!

  7. Dear Devi,
    So true.
    And as Master remarked in “Two penniless boys in Brindavan”, no one lives without having some prayers answered and yet how short our human memories are! Despite God having listened to our prayers numerous times in our lives already, we resort to doubts and worries, “would God listen this time?” And yet he always does!!!
    And I too loved “Your friend on the journey”.
    Much love.

  8. Beautifully expressed and appreciate the reminder, feeling hopeful and grateful :-)
    Thank you!
    Suman

  9. Dear Nayaswami Deviji,
    Thanks a lot. I got my answer. With his grace $ your advice I will be able to solve my problem.
    Thank s again.
    Jai Guru,
    Lajju

  10. Thank you for these words of truth. They feel like a nugget of gold.

  11. My immediate response to-does God listen to our prayers, is a feeling of oh yes, absolutely. I feel the grace of God and guru so deeply for this because I remember that before I came on the path I felt so alone that the universe didn’t really respond to me. It was all up to me to face life as best I could in this lonely void.
    I feel the presence of God everywhere I go, in everything I do. My devotion draws Divine Mother’s love and supports me in everything. No longer alone, I am able to lay down my frustrations, my anger, my selfishness,my fears,my resentments and move forward in Love and Joy. Of course I am still a work in progress, there are times when I allow those things to come back into my heart, then I do stupid things that I usually have to end up apologizing for. As soon as I realize I have gotten off track, I go to my center of calmness within and offer up my love to Mother at the spiritual eye. I then try to tune in to what God would have me BE in this moment and move forward.
    Love to all, Peace to all,
    Bhaktan

  12. Thank you for reminding us to just listen, i am so grateful for sharing Master’s wisdom and guidance. Aum, Mary Jo

  13. Dear devi,
    so sweet and so reassuring :-)
    read your thoughts expand my awareness
    Thanks and God bless you

  14. Dear Devi,
    This is a beautiful message, thank you! I went into this morning knowing that I was facing a couple of serious and important challenges. I quieted myself, looked at Master’s photo to feel my love and devotion and then prayed for his help. Through the morning I continued to think of him, look at his picture and pray to him. I was able to stay calm through a very difficult meeting, and was able to express myself clearly and – eventually – be understood. The outcome was better than I expected and very close to the best I could imagine. Thank you Master!

  15. A day without prayer is an opportunity wasted. Every breath is prayer when we are conscious.
    Paul.

  16. it doesn’t happen always he fulfills our desires but we feel inpired ,strong to face the problems

  17. Dear Nayaswami Devi,
    Your words of instruction were so helpful in my practice. Listening to God and knowing God listens to me created an unexpected outcome of attunement. Such beauty in the state of attunement, and divine union, for which I am deeply grateful!
    Many Blessings,
    Krista

  18. Bless you beautiful wise mother,
    It is the Niyama I am practicing this year: Iswarapranidhana
    Surrendering to God, and Knowing that every request, nay -every “demand” is already “done”;
    Thy will, not mine Lord.
    Thy will be done!
    Bless You.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

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