Praying with purpose – Expectations vs Surrender

prayerThere are two types of prayer depending on the intention.

1. Prayer with worldly expectation

This is the most common type of prayer. This is made with the expectation of fulfilment of some worldly requirement. The prayer may or may not be accompanied by any other spiritual practice.

Some prayers with worldly expectation would include

Gross material requirements like obtaining a job, partner, child etc.

Subtle material requirement like recovery from illness, happiness etc.

Prayers that are made with expectation of some worldly benefit are generally by people in the initial stages of their spiritual journey. Even those whose prayers about some worldly benefit are regularly answered, are generally in the initial stages of their spiritual journey. The reason is – people in later stages of spiritual growth pray only for their spiritual growth.

When we pray for worldly benefit for ourselves or others, the prayer may get answered but we end up using our spiritual energy obtained through spiritual practice. This spiritual energy could be either from this birth or an earlier birth.

People who continue praying lifelong with worldly expectations use prayer as a tool to obtain a little something from God rather than striving to increase spiritual practice to attain the all-encompassing continual grace of God. The major disadvantage of this type of prayer is that one tends to remain trapped in worldly desires and needs instead of transcending to surrender to God’s will and being able to rely on Him to provide as per our requirement (and not as per our wish).

2. Prayer without worldly expectation (for spiritual growth)

This type of prayer is made by seekers who are serious about their spiritual journey. In such prayers also there is a pleading to God, but it is not about worldly expectations. The expectation is about being able to do spiritual practice better so as to progress spiritually. Seekers may also pray for removal of obstacles in their spiritual practice, reduction of their ego etc.

Seekers who pray without worldly expectations have the double benefit of being graced with spiritual progress as well as their material needs being taken care of as per the requirement. Here, as the person who is praying surrenders much more than a person who prays with worldly expectations, he is able to access much more of God’s grace. Also, the surrender contributes to dissolution of mind, intellect and ego. These factors result in rapid spiritual progress.

To learn more about the Five Stages of Prayer – click here!

Leave a Comment