Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
Originally published 10.10.10
Where would we be without prayer?
Prayer is obligatory in Islam and the five daily prayers keep us focused on God and help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude for His unceasing blessings.
The words of Qur’an read “Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil; and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest (force) and Allah knows what you do.” (Surah 29:45)
When I first became a Muslim, many of my peers questioned why we had to pray five times a day when they firmly believed that one time in the morning was good enough for the entire day.
My response was that we are all sinful and can be easily drawn into the gravitational pull of that which is ungodly, so continuous prayer helps to create a spiritual force field around us.
As often as we sin we must turn to Him in prayer to seek His mercy. Daily we’re being bombarded at work, home, and school with things that cause us to drift back into a state of unrighteousness, making us act other than our true selves. Our flaws master us instead of us mastering them. Our true self is the essence of God Himself so we have the innate ability to reflect Him but this world is contrary to His Ways.
We need prayer for spiritual refreshment. Many eat more meals per day than they pray but God is He who created all of the good foods that we partake of daily.
Isn’t God worthy of worship? You and I did not create all that is in the universe–He did. We are not responsible for the Sun that shines or even the atmosphere for us to breathe. We owe our very lives to Him. What is so important that we’re doing throughout the day that we can’t stop and give praise to the Originator? Are we really that busy?
Prayer unleashes inner powers. Prayer places us in the right state of mind to rise above emotions. Prayer activates our God-given abilities to be great yet reroute all of the praise to Him. Prayer gives us that strength necessary to endure the trials that we face in our lives because we know that God will not place on us a burden beyond our scope.
This is why I ask daily on my Twitter account, “Why pray for a lighter load, when you have an opportunity to develop a stronger back?”
As Believers in God, should we be on our knees pleading with Him to lighten our load? Should we be crying out to Him to not take us through difficulties?
I think not.
Struggle is ordained by Him to make manifest who we are. Trials purify us and give us an internal microscopic look at who we are beyond the fine suits and nice dresses.
The “good news” is that man was created to meet and overcome all obstacles in his path. God wants to help us develop a stronger back and stronger legs in the midst of seemingly hopeless moments.
We really don’t know who we are until we are tried.
One of the greatest examples of this can be found in the near death experience of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in 1999. He was three minutes from death at Howard University hospital. God blessed him and brought him back from that experience.
Interestingly when he returned to his farmland from the hospital, his daughter and nurse, Fatimah Farrakhan, shared with him words that he was uttering on his deathbed while in a state of unconsciousness.
According to Minister Farrakhan, “She said I was thanking God for the excruciating pain that I was under. I was thanking Him for whatever He brought into my life. I was thanking Him for allowing me that time that He gave me to behold the majesty of His creation. I never asked Him to allow me to live. I just thanked Him for giving me life; and if it was my time, I thanked Him for just allowing me the time that He gave me.”
That is a testament to the power of prayer and an intimate relationship with your God.
There is quote that says “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”
Why do you pray?
Credits: Malcolm X photo by Richard Saunders; Obama photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images