How should one pray? What is the right kind of prayer? These are very interesting questions.

Well, whom do we pray to is a question I would not delve into. You may call it god or creator or nature or earth or whatever you like. By nature's law, it becomes clearer that each one of us are in the situation we are due to our own deeds. Which means that the creation is perfect. Its flawless! One might ask how can this creation be perfect when there is war, hunger, killing, poverty and a whole list of unfortunate things happening around the world? The answer still lies in Nature's law. The situation anyone is in or gets in is due to his/her past actions. The discomfort we may have caused someone is the same discomfort coming back to us in some other form. Ok, but what relation does this have with prayer ? Yes, its related which we will get to shortly.

I think the majority of people pray for well being. Well being may be material, physical or mental or all the 3. In all these forms of prayer all we are doing is just asking. The sole purpose is to gain something. Its like saying "I will pray to you everyday but you gimme good health". The relationship is purely give-and-take which is no different than doing business. "You gimme money, I will give you this". Notice that the prayer is just business.

Another common type of prayer is something like "I will go to the temple/church/mosque etc everyday for the next X days so that you bless me with so and so" or something like "If I get so and so then I will donate this much to you". Isn't this common ? Usually these types come up when one is trying hard to achieve something but seems to fail continuously. But notice that the prayer is still business. Give and take.

Then, there are some who will pray to heal the whole world. "May all the hunger in the world vanish". "May there be no more killing" etc etc. As explained before, the creation is perfect, we don't need to tell the creator how to operate the world. The creator definitely knows better. One may want to bless the whole world to be free from hunger, poverty etc but as a prayer it does not seem relevant.

So, what should your prayer be? As far as I can think of, it can only be

Thank you

Thats it. Nothing else. Thank the one you are praying to for whatever has been given to you. Whatever has been given means all inclusive. Thats important. Or else one may start thanking for only the things one likes like your body parts, your belongings like house, job, wealth etc. No, all inclusive means everything. Even if an unfortunate incident has happened to you, be thankful for it as that has given you the ability to understand and realize something. Like for example, hunger will make you realize how the body and mind suffers when there is no food. Of course, you cant think of this when you are hungry but you will realize this once you are out of your hunger and will be much more sensitive towards someone else's hunger. There is always something to be learnt.

So just a simple "Thank you" and nothing else. Ask for nothing. Absolutely nothing. Again volition is important. "Thank you" is something that one must feel from within. Then it is true prayer. Note that it is extremely difficult to lose something and still say "Thank you" from within. It can only happen when there is either tremendous faith or one is at peace with oneself. Meditation is the vehicle to get to that state.