Video and Audio

Why Is Prayer So Important? (With Swami Kriyananda)

Swami Kriyananda
May 30, 2022


Swami Kriyananda (via verbatim transcribing service): "If God knows our hearts and minds, why is prayer so important? Well, there are two things. One is what it does for you. When you pray, pray in the right way, don't pray to give you a bigger bank account. Pray for worthwhile things like greater joy, greater love, to learn humility, to overcome anger. Those are worthwhile things, because your relationship with God is what should be a part of your prayer. But the important thing is that you pray in such a way as to ask God's support for what you're doing. He knows what you're going to ask. But He's waiting for you to ask it. And when you asked it, that means you've opened yourself to Him and made it easier for Him to come in and help you in that way.

"Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening for your answer. Prayer should be followed by meditation. And when we pray and ask God to give us freedom from anger, give us more love, all these things, then listen for His answer. Calm your mind. Be still. You'll find in that case that prayer will actually have very definite results. Yes, God knows your heart, but He wants you to give it to Him. Then He can come through to you."


In 1948 at the age of twenty-two, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda. Yogananda is best known for his spiritual classic, *Autobiography of a Yogi*. In his book he recalls his experiences growing up in India and his life in America. He writes of meeting the great spiritual master Babaji, and how Babaji reintroduced the life changing meditation technique of Kriya Yoga. He tells of his life with his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, of his guru Lahiri Mahasaya, and his meeting with Anandamoyi Ma. Yogananda moved to America and developed the energization exercises and taught the meditation techniques of Hatha Yoga and especially Kriya Yoga. At Yogananda’s request, Swami Kriyananda devoted his life to lecturing and writing, helping others to experience the living presence of God within. He taught on four continents in seven languages over the course of 65 years. His talks, his music, and his many books have touched the lives of millions. An advocate of simple living and high thinking, his more than 150 books emphasize the need to live wisely by one’s own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas. A composer since 1964, Walters has written over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. He taught meditation to thousands and has initiated many into the life changing technique of Kriya Yoga. His books and teachings on spiritualizing nearly every field of human endeavor include business life, leadership, education, the arts, community, and science. He wrote extensive commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita, both based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

He is known as the “father of the intentional communities movement,” which began in the United States in the late 1960s, fulfilling Yogananda's dream. Ananda is a worldwide movement to help individuals realize the joy of their own higher Self.

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