What is prayer? Prayer is out-pouring of the heart. What is prayer? Prayer is offering flowers plucked from the garden of the heart. What is prayer? Prayer is the cry of the wounded heart to the beloved. What is prayer? Prayer is the soul’s ascent to the mount of vision.
This word, this English word, “prayer,” means, literally, “asking.” I recall the words of Jesus spoken on a memorable occasion to his disciples. Jesus said: “Ask and it shall be given to you.”
Prayer is “asking.” Asking for what? And asking how? Prayer is asking for the key to the treasures of the spirit-world.
How shall we ask? And what shall we ask?
We have a beautiful word for “prayer” in the ancient Indian language, the Sanskrit language. That word is, upasanas. Do you know what upasana means? The literal meaning of the word is, up-asana, “sitting under.” That is prayer—sitting under the influence of the spirit. And sitting here with you, beneath these beautiful trees and under the ancient skies, I have felt that I have been sitting under the influence of the spirit. Prayer is sitting under—the influence of the spirit. Blessed is this evening when we, sisters and brothers, are met together with trusting hearts in this beautiful spot under the influence of the spirit.
And I sometimes say prayer is a voyage of discovery. For, if you but know how to pray, you begin to discover a mighty world around you—the spirit-world.