Living in Prayer

photo courtesy of Joi, Flickr
photo courtesy of Joi, Flickr

The master was riding a cruise ship with some very religious people.

Before the ship left, they all said their prayers for safety, protection, and so on. All of them except the master, who was visibly enjoying the the sea breeze on deck.

During meal times, the same people would bow their heads and mutter a prayer before eating. But the master would simply dig in with almost childlike delight as the food was served.

At certain times of the day, the religious people would gather and sing hymns and pray together. The master would sometimes just watch them from a corner.

One night, they hit a sudden storm and ship rocked dangerously to and fro. The people panicked and began praying. They kneeled, wept, cried aloud, all in fervent supplication. All except the master, who sat calmly and watched the lightning and rolling waves. Then some of the other people gathered around him and said, “What are you doing? Why aren’t you praying? We know you are a holy man and if you prayed, surely God would listen to you and stop the storm.”

The master smiled and calmly replied, “To pray out of fear is to miss the entire point of prayer.”

“Well, why weren’t you praying, then, when we were not in trouble. We noticed that you never uttered a prayer?” one person asked.

“I am always in prayer, even now. My life is a prayer. How can I utter a prayer? That would be like telling a fish in the water to take a bath. Prayer is not a verbalization of your thoughts. Prayer is a way of life. It is acceptance, peace and gratitude. ” replied the master.

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