How to have your prayers answered?

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi has explained how we can have our prayers answered in his book ‘Blessings of Prayer’ (Barakatud Dua)

http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Blessings-of-Prayer.pdf

He has said:-

“Prayer, in essence, means a relationship of mutual attraction between a righteous person and his Lord. This means that God’s grace first draws a person towards Himself, and then, through the magnetism of the person’s sincerity, God draws closer to him. In the state of prayer this relationship reaches a point where it manifests wonderful qualities. When a man in grave difficulty falls down in prayer with perfect certainty, perfect hope, perfect fidelity, and perfect resolve; and when he becomes perfectly alert and advances far into the field of self-annihilation, tearing aside all veils of heedlessness, lo and behold, he finds before him the Divine threshold, and he perceives that God has no associate. His soul then prostrates itself at the Divine threshold and the power of attraction that is invested in him draws the bounties of God Almighty towards him. It is then that the Glorious God attends to the fulfilment of the desired objective, and casts the effect of the prayer on all the preliminary means, which, in turn, produce the means that are essential for the achievement of the objective. For example, if the prayer is for rain and it is accepted, all the natural means which are necessary for causing rain are created as a result of the prayer. If the prayer is for famine, the All-Powerful One creates the opposite means. And this is why the eminent recipients of revelation and men of perfection have proven with their extraordinary experiences that the prayers of a perfect one are endowed with a power of creation. That is to say, under Divine command, prayer influences the lower and higher strata of the world and sways the elements, heavenly bodies, and hearts of men towards the desired objective. There is no shortage of such examples in Divine scriptures. In fact, some kinds of miracles are also the result of the acceptance of prayer. Prayer is the source of the thousands of miracles shown by Prophets as well as the marvels that have been displayed by the saints to this day. And, more often than not, it is through prayers that the supernatural signs of Divine Omnipotence are manifested….

 God Almighty has never promised to accept all prayers, but has said clearly that He will accept or reject prayers as He desires. The following verse clearly states this point: 

Nay, but on Him alone will you call; then will He remove that which you call on Him to remove, if He please.’ Holy Qur’an, Chapter Al-An‘am, 6:42

Even if we condescend to accept that in this context the word ‘Pray’ refers to prayer in general, we will have to affirm that the prayer referred to here is that which complies with all the necessary conditions; and we know that it is not in the power of man to meet all these conditions by himself unless he is helped by God. One should also remember that humility and anguish alone is not enough for prayer to be accepted, for it also requires righteousness, purity, truthfulness, perfect certainty, perfect love and perfect attention. Moreover, it is also essential that the object prayed for should not be opposed to the Divine scheme of things and should not be against the welfare of the supplicant, or the one on whose behalf he prays, both in this world and the hereafter. It often happens that although all other conditions have been fulfilled, the object prayed for happens to be against the Divine scheme of things with regard to the supplicant, and no good can come of granting such a prayer. For example, if a dear child of a mother should cry and beg her to hand it a burning brand or a snake, or to feed it a poison which seems agreeable, the mother would never fulfil such a wish. Were she to do so, and even if the child were to escape with its life and were to lose one of its limbs, it would certainly grow up with a strong grievance against the foolish mother. There are, in addition, many other conditions in the absence of which a prayer is not worth its name. So long as a prayer is not inspired by full spirituality and a close connection is not established between the supplicant and the person on whose behalf the supplication is made, there is little hope that such a prayer will be accepted. Unless there is a Divine will to accept the prayer all these conditions remain unfulfilled and the faculties remain devoid of complete attention.”

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