“There are only two prayers:
The first prayer is possession,
The second prayer is surrender.”
– Sri Chinmoy
We might say that the first prayer, the possession prayer, is from the finite within us – our body, vital and mind – for the finite; for our desire-fulfillment, for material wealth, status, power and influence, name and fame. The second prayer, the surrender prayer, is from the infinite within us – our spiritual heart – for the infinite; for peace, love, light and bliss, for God-realisation and God-satisfaction.
We offer the possession prayer when we know no better, when in our ignorance, we still imagine ourselves a finite being with God a high, remote and aloof Entity; before we have glimpsed spirituality’s infinitude, hearkened to the call of the soul or felt the tug of the Beyond. Ultimately, this first prayer binds us to the finite and actively stands in the way of our spiritual progress and happiness. To pray our desires is to row upstream. When we realise this, either through frustration, disappointment, suffering or the dawning of wisdom, we are ready to embrace the second prayer.
Jesus Christ offered the ultimate surrender-prayer:
“Not my will, but Thine be done.”
In this prayer, we surrender our limited desires and needs, in the full awareness that a higher Power within us knows infinitely better than we, what is best for us and how it can be achieved; and in the flow of this higher Will, lies our own ultimate fulfillment, our consummate satisfaction. Here prayer and meditation merge, in silent supplication and invocation of the Highest within us.
As deep meditation subsumes prayer, so prayer fulfills itself in meditation. As the prayers of our mind dissolve into the silence-tears of our heart, our prayer-river flows into and loses itself in the meditation-sea.