Make some time to talk to your Lord

Prayer imparts power and confidence to us all, as is seen in the story of Prophet Zachariah.

Prayer imparts power and confidence to us all, as is seen in the story of Prophet Zachariah.

Why you feel depressed when there is a toll-free, confidential hotline connecting you 24/7 to your Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer? Please ring up from anywhere, at any time and stay connected. 

He was in the twilight years of his life, bones waxing feeble and head shining with grey hair. Having grown old and infirm and the prospects of his old wife giving birth to a child getting bleaker, he was deeply disturbed by the thought of dying without begetting a successor. He feared for his kinfolk, had he died without an heir to inherit the big family of Jacob of which he was the last patriarch. But the physical infirmity could not send him into the depths of despair nor weaken his steely determination and resolve because he was still confident of a source of power within him which he believed could create wonders. He was convinced that the power of his faith in Allah and his supplication to Him could far outshine all his infirmities. The old man desperately prayed for an heir to inherit the great legacy of his family, but not without admitting his helplessness and his inability to make it happen on his own. And when the Almighty responded in affirmative bringing him the tiding of a son, he looked up in surprise and incredulity.

This is the story of Prophet Zachariah (peace be upon Him) as depicted in the introductory verses of Chapter Maryam (Mary) in the Holy Quran. These verses followed by the story of Mary and her conceiving of and giving birth to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) shed light on the power of prayer in instilling optimism into the human mind in the face of insurmountable challenges. Through his ‘secret crying’, as the Quran described his prayer for a child, Zachariah could achieve what appeared almost beyond the bounds of possibility. It was his unflappable confidence and trust in Allah that prompted Zachariah to turn to Him seeking an almost improbable thing.

He referred to two natural causes that made his desire for a child overly ambitious. But what made him submit this seemingly unrealistic demand to his Lord was his deep conviction in the power of prayer and his undying optimism in divine blessings. He believed that prayer and God’s blessings can prevail over the ordinariness and normality of things. Prayer is an intimate conversation with God. It is an occasion where the servant appears before his Lord in total submission and with no affectation. In no other meeting or conversation and with no other interlocutor, can you become so sincere and truthful to yourself. While conversing with people, you tend to impress them, covering up your shortcomings, putting on your make-up of refined manners and superficial elegance and puffing yourself up with vainglory and pride. But while talking to God, you can impress Him only by exposing the person who you are close to the bone. The more humble, sincere, natural and openhearted you are, the closer you become to Allah and the brighter are the chances for your prayer to be accepted by Him.

Prayer is a humble expression of a creature’s trust in and devotion to his/her Creator.

While praying, we are admitting our limitations and helplessness and confessing our need to His eternal mercy and blessings. It brings man closer to his Lord and takes him away from arrogance and selfishness. Prayer is the purest expression of mind, a secret affair between the creature and the Creator. While narrating the lives of the Prophets, kings, saints, monarchs and common people, the Quran highlights some of the special prayers they all made at certain critical junctures.

Prayer also signifies the equality of all people in front of God. No worldly power, possession and riches can influence the result of prayer. Its language is universal and it does not require any professional or educational skill and expertise. The prayer of the rich and well-to-do people does not have any edge over that of the poor. The prayer makes even the kings and rulers shed tears and lay prostrate in front of God so that they will understand the triviality and transience of the power they wield.

The Quran introduces the worship of God as the first and foremost duty of all creatures in the world. It considers prayer as a natural and instinctive urge of all creatures, including the plants, birds, the sun, moons, stars and all living and nonliving beings. It describes even the swaying of shadows to and fro as an expression of their submission to the Creator. For creatures, prayer heralds the freedom of their mind from the dependence on worldly things and addiction to their allure. It is an expression of their existential freedom and a natural music of their independent existence.

Prayer imparts power and confidence to us. A sincere believer, who pins his hope on God, can hardly care about his personal gains or losses. He believes everything is from God so that nothing can shake the indomitable spirit of his mind. A man who creates a secret link with His God by means of prayers is least concerned about the setbacks and adversities in life. Neither old age nor the waning of physical powers can weaken the strength and willpower of a praying mind. Pessimism and depression are not there in the lexicon of a believer who understands the magical power of prayers.