You must have read the following incident in Mother Teresa’s life. Mother Teresa of Kolkata had a dream. She told her superiors, “I have three pennies and a dream from God to build an orphanage."
"Mother Teresa," her superiors chided gently, "you cannot build an orphanage with three pennies. With three pennies you can’t do anything!"
"I know," she said smiling, "but with God and three pennies I can do anything!"
She did build an orphanage that is well known housing many destitute.
This is often mentioned to stress the point that spiritual energy is so powerful and that all we need to do is turn toward the energy and ask. The Bible says "Ask and you shall receive." God is waiting and all you need to do is ask even a little bit for help, and it will be there. A lot of people either do not ask or turn their backs said Tim Peering So what are we waiting for? Pray intensely with faith and our prayers would be answered.
Even in Hindu religion before the chanting or recitation of texts on the glories of Gods/Goddesses, a sankalp or a seeking of specific blessings is made for self or others. Just as a child asks its parents, we ask our Father or the Lord to help us in times of need. Again like our parents, our wishes are granted or denied by God for reasons best known to Him.
To me it seems there are a few elements in prayer.
Prayer should be in total faith and with utter devotion. There should be no shred of doubt. This absolute faith and devotion should always be there and not only when we need things. God is not a Santa Claus with a bagful of goodies waiting to give whenever we press the button. In all the cases I have read, God came to the rescue of the devout, not those who turn devout for specific reason at specific times, when the devotee surrenders to God without clinging to other devices for help. The surrender should be total.
I believe where prayer is for a noble cause or for benefitting the needy sufferers without any strings of self interest, God listens to such prayers as Mother Teresa’s for destitute with three pennies in her hand .There was nothing for herself. When one wishes to give to the lonely, lost and poor and when compassion and love is the driving force, the connection to God is immediately established. He may not help directly but someone at His command would come your way. His ways are inscrutable.
God does not make deals. It is never a quid pro quo.If you donate in cash or kind to Him at places of worship or break 100 coconuts or rotate bodily on the floor of temple expecting something in return, He is not impressed.A golden crown studded with diamonds is not any bigger than a spoon of water or a plantain fruit. It is the attitude, humility, faith, sincerity and love that draw Him to the supplicant.
We see candidates praying for a win in election and their rivals praying for the opposite result. Is god really interested in these silly demands? When He does not grant our petty wishes after repeated prayers, we indulge in our remonstration that He is blind to our sufferings or deaf to our pleas or heartless to our pitiable condition.
Why do we pray? Is asking for things the only reason for our prayers? Can there be a self less prayer? Is a prayer for the well being of self, children, friends, and family members is wrong? Not at all, prayer is always good in that we become better persons. But God knows what is to be given when, where and to whom? Is He not omniscient and does He need reminder?
My own take on this is that God answers our prayers if they fit with His scheme of things. Otherwise they remain unanswered. If that be so why do our religions and scriptures require us to pray and what are we supposed to ask for in our prayers? To my mind our prayers should be one of adoration of His many divine qualities and expression of gratefulness for the blessings given. There should be no demand even for liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. He knows when to free you from this bondage. Real prayer is communicating with god by singing His praises and leading a virtuous life according to His teachings. Work is worship. Doing the assigned jobs sincerely and well and leading an ethical life is highest form of worship. Prayer is nothing more than leading our life being aware of His presence all the time in all the things we do in our day to day life and being in communion with him