Spiritual guides are often asked to pray for someone. From illness to wellness, from poverty to wealth, from failure to success, from emotional distress to peace, from grief to acceptance, from anger to equanimity.
Frequently, the seekers also ask “how may I pray for someone”. Here is a brief answer.
Often people think of prayer as so many words, “please help him. Oh God”, “please make my daughter well”, “please make my son pass his examination”, “Dear Divine Mother, please, please, reduce my husband’s anger” – and so on.
Or we think of prayer as reciting or chanting of some mantras, shlokas, set compositions, verses from holy books of our religion – whichever religion.
The way of prayer for a meditator is a silent one. My Master, Swami Rama of the Himalayas, said:
"Prayer is intense feeling."
Even one who does not believe in God can pray for others.
But, one needs to learn to prepare one’s mind to offer such a prayer. A clear, sattvic and selfless mind.
Also, learn the technique of meditation. This can be a long and complex process, or short one. One may even use a recording of guided meditation . Here briefly is one (missing out many details):
Relax all your muscles, especially the forehead.
Bring your attention to your breathing.
Simply observe how you are breathing.
Through that simple observation your breath will slow down.
Bring your attention to feel the flow and touch of your breath in the nostrils.
Breathe slowly, gently and smoothly.
Keep feeling the breath stream touching in the nostrils.
[Here you may choose a name of God from your religion and language, or a sacred phrase. If not, just count the breaths, not in words, but in thought alone, Onnnne...Twooo... repeatedly, while feeling the breath stream.]
When the mind has become an undisturbed even-flowing stream,
Visualize the presence of the person you are praying for.
Visualize the person in the condition in which you wish to see him/her.
Let this be an intense feeling.
Interspersed with the breath observation as described above, keep returning to this intense feeling.
If you are a believer, let there be an intense feeling of surrender to Divinity.
Do this repeatedly till your goal for the person is achieved. But, let there also be a sense of acceptance, surrender of the desire and the fruit. If the Divine Force accepts the prayer, you are grateful.
For a more advanced mode of this feeling prayer, one needs to learn diaphragmatic breathing, otherwise chest problems can ensue. For this, take some lessons in the Himalayan yoga meditation methods from a certified teacher.
When diaphragmatic breathing has become a natural process, one may move to the next step in this feeling prayer.
Feeling the breath stream in the nostrils [with the divine name or the count of onnnne...twooo... as above],
Breathing diaphragmatically – and not otherwise.
After some time, whenever the mind feels settled, bring the mind’s attention to your heart centre, the area between the breasts.
Feel as though there is a cave in that area.
Dwell in that area mentally.
Feel as though you are entering that cave.
In that cave visualize the person in the condition which you wish him/her to attain.
Let this be an intense feeling.
You may intersperse between the intense feeling and the breath-awareness and sit doing this as long as you wish.
Do not complain: “God when will you hear my prayer? I have been praying for so long and you have not fulfilled my wish!!”
Secrets of success in prayer are:
• Intense feeling
• Surrendering the desire for fruits; acceptance.
I wish you success in your prayers.