“If a flower can whisper
Its prayer to God,
What is wrong with a human being?
How is it that we do not know
How to whisper prayers to God?”

– Sri Chinmoy

How does a flower pray? Certainly not with words, or with any mind at all, but with everything it has and is. The flower’s whole being is an offering, of its beauty, simplicity, sweetness, humility, innocence, fragrance, charm and surrender. Its offering is absolute, unreserved and unconditional. In its offering, in its prayer, in its surrender, lies its perfection, fulfilment and satisfaction.

We too, can pray as a flower prays, without words, in silent, consecrated, continuous, complete self-offering to the Highest within us, of all that we have and are.

Each breath, each glance, each thought, each task, each word, each gesture, each intention, each action can be prayer. The body and vital can pray through dedicated activity, service, exercise or sports: the heart prays naturally through silent tears of intense yearning.

Until our meditation becomes effortless and spontaneous, we need prayer-tears to purify, focus, intensify, open up and elevate our consciousness.

We pray, so that we can meditate. For meditation we need deep faith, a clear mind, pure heart, focussed will, resolute determination and boundless patience: all arise from prayer. The discipline, intensity and intimacy of prayer nurture and cultivate all the qualities and attributes of a spiritual seeker. Prayer ushers us into the palace of meditation.

The heart’s prayer is a one-pointed flame rising upwards into meditation’s ever-expanding sky. Prayer is seeking, meditation is becoming. Prayer prepares, meditation completes.

We cannot meditate 24 hours a day: but to meditate well even for one minute, we can and must pray to learn, pray to live, pray to become the supreme art of prayer.