Osho on Prayer

Question: How should I Pray? I don’t know how to properly express this love that I feel into Prayer

Osho –¬†PRAYER is not a technique, it is not a ritual, it is not a formality. There is no pattern to it. It is a spontaneous outpouring of the heart, so don’t ask how, because there is no how and there cannot be any how to it. Whatsoever happens in the moment is right. If tears come, good. If you sing, good. If you dance, good. If nothing comes and you simply remain silent, good. Because prayer is not in the expression; it is not in the container, it is in the content. Sometimes silence is prayerful, sometimes singing is prayerful. It depends on you, it depends on the heart. So if I say sing, and you sing because I have told you to sing, then the prayer is false from the very beginning. Listen to your heart, feel your moment, and let it be. And whatsoever happens is good.

Sometimes nothing will happen, but that is what is happening. You allow it, you don’t impose your will on it. When you ask how, you are trying to impose your will, you are trying to plan. That’s how prayer has been missed. That’s how all the churches and religions have become rituals. They have a set prayer, a set form: the authorized version, the approved. But how can anybody approve prayer? How can anybody give you an authorized version?

Prayer has to arise in you, it has to flower in you. And each moment has its own prayer, and each mood has its own prayer. Nobody knows what is going to happen to your innermost world tomorrow morning. How can it be fixed? A fixed prayer is a false prayer: this much can certainly be said. A ritualized prayer is no longer prayer: this can be said in absolute terms. An unritualized, spontaneous gesture — that’s what prayer is. Sometimes you may feel very sad, because sadness also belongs to God. Sadness is also divine. There is no necessity to always be happy. Then sadness is your prayer. Then let your heart cry and let your eyes pour down tears. Then let sadness be offered to God. Whatsoever is there in your heart, let it be offered to the Divine Feet — joy or sadness, sometimes even anger.

Sometimes one is angry with God. If you cannot be angry with God, you have not yet known love. Sometimes one is really in a deep rage. Then let anger be your prayer. Fight with God — He is yours, you are His, and love knows no formality. Love can survive all fights. If it cannot survive a fight, then it is not love. So sometimes you don’t feel like praying; then let that be your prayer. You say to God, “Wait! I’m not in the mood, and the way you are doing things, it is not even worth praying.” But let it be a spontaneous pouring of your heart.

Never be inauthentic with God because that is the way of not being with Him. If you are insincere with God — deep down you are complaining, and on the surface praying? — then God will see the complaint, not the prayer. You have been false. He can look directly into your heart. Whom are you trying to deceive? The smile on your face is not going to deceive God; your truth will be known to Him. He can only know your truth; lies don’t exist for Him. So let the truth be there. You simply present your truth to Him and say that today you are angry, you are angry with His world, you are angry with Him, you are angry with your life: “I hate it! And I cannot pray, so you will have to remain without my prayer today. I suffer much; now you suffer.” Talk to Him as one talks to one’s lover, one’s friend, one’s mother. Talk to Him as one talks to a small child.

I was staying with a family, and the mother ordered the small child to pray. He was very interested, and he was not ready to go to sleep, and he wanted to be with me a little longer. But the family was very disciplinarian, so they said, “Now it is nine o’clock. You go and sleep, and don’t forget your prayer.” He was angry; I could see it. He went into his room. I followed just to listen to what he was going to pray. In the darkness I heard him say, “God, make bad people good and good people nice.” He knows his mother is good, his father is good, but not nice. I have heard about another child. He was staying in a guest house with the family. The first night he prayed. He always used to sleep with a small light on, but there was no light and the electricity had gone. Suddenly, as he prayed the electricity disappeared. He was just getting into his bed, and he told his mother, “Let me get up again and let me pray again more carefully, because the night is going to be dark.”

First he had just prayed by the way, but now the night was going to be dark and there was no light and he was more afraid. He said, “Let me pray again. Let me get out, and let me pray more carefully, because now there is more danger.”

Listen to children’s prayer and become a child. All the religions say that God is Father. In fact, the emphasis should be that man is the child. That is the real meaning when we call God ‘the Father’. But we have forgotten; God is the Father but we are not His children. Forget whether He is Father or not. You just be a child — spontaneous, true, authentic.

Don’t ask me and don’t ask anybody how to pray. Let the moment decide, let the moment be decisive, and the truth of the moment should be your prayer. That’s my answer: the truth of the moment, whatsoever it is, unconditionally, should be your prayer. And once you allow the truth of the moment to possess you, you will start growing, and you will know tremendous beauties of prayer. You have entered on the path. But if you simply go on repeating a certain prayer, a technique, then you will miss. You will never enter on the path, you will just remain outside.

source – osho book “the beloved, vol 2”

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