In praise of daily prayers

daily prayers - art Vilas Silverton

Each daily prayer of mine

Is a sincere God-adorer.

Each daily meditation of mine

Is a pure God-lover.

-Sri Chinmoy, from the book Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 69


I would like to start this praise with the "never do it" in writing: I shall contradict myself in the opening paragraph. What I mean is that, quite honestly, I am not in position to praise daily prayers. It is rather a privilege that I have been given them and that I was able to muster enough inspiration to do some of them over the years.

Various spiritual paths have their gamut of daily practises, whether it is silent prayer, meditation, selfless service, singing, writing, etc. Many have a set of writings that spiritual aspirants recite daily. In the East, many people recite the Bhagavad Gita (even by heart) everyday. Muslims have their daily prayers at set times. The Christ gave at least one formal prayer found in the gospels, "Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name...", and a reader might as well take for himself other lofty utterances such as "Not my will, but Thine be done."

Being a students of Sri Chinmoy, besides doing silent meditation and spontaneous prayer as individual practises, we were very fortunate to have received from him a vast number of prayers, aphorisms, messages and songs. Over the years, some of the most notable ones he had mentioned that we should recite everyday, and with time a booklet of such daily mantras was compiled by his students. One of the longer ones is


My Lord,

Please, please, give me Your Peace.

"My child,

Please, please, give Me your willingness-heart."


My Lord,

Please, please, give me Your Peace.

"My child,

Please, please, give Me your surrender-life."


My Lord,

Please, please, give me Your Peace.

"My child,

Please, please, give Me your gratitude-breath."


My Lord,

Please, please, give me Your Peace.

"My child,

Please, please, give Me a new promise

That you belong to Me only,

You need Me only,

You love Me only,

You came into the world to please Me in My own Way.


"My child,

You are My Eternity's all,

My Infinity's all,

My Immortality's all."


-Sri Chinmoy, from the book My sweet Father-Lord, where are you?


What made me sit and write today was the experience I have had in the past very few days of reciting the daily prayers.

I have the habit of interspersing my day with the prayers instead of doing them as a solid block, as it seems to have suited me best. It would be a sweet little daily task which always gave me much satisfaction. I would do one before leaving the bed in the morning, one before shower, one before leaving home for running, one for leaving to work at the office, on the train commute, while stretching at the subway station escalator, before entering my workplace, after finishing work, before eating, etc. As you can see, many of those were related to moving here and there, especially to work.

But in 2020 and 2021 I did more than half of my work from home, sometimes was away from the office for over a week. I also started cycling to work instead of taking the train on the rare days I had to go. So it happenned that the prayers I used to do at certain stages of my day were fading into oblivion.

But occasionally I felt the void left by them, and inspired by a few friends who I know do them very steadfastly, I sat down with pen and paper and remade my "prayer-day" (that is, where in my daily routine each prayer will come up) not counting going to the office. I used simple things such as climbing stairs up or down, going to the back or front yard, before starting singing or reading books as occasions.

And what a difference this made! After the first two days of trying to memorise what goes when, I fell in love with my new sweet little daily prayer task. As soon as I get to the stairway, I notice the feeling coming up, "Ah, great! It is time to sing that song/prayer!" I am so happy! And I also noticed a great shift in depth and awareness of my current state of mind as soon as I started. That is, after doing some work on the computer, I will go downstairs to get some water or a snack and end up reciting one, two or three profound aphorisms or beautiful prayers. I have had excellent days in general since I restarted with this new "prayer-day", and I do think the change is owing to that - the caveat being that I have to be honest again and say that many of the real gifts in my life of aspiration seemed to have been bestowed upon me unconditionally.

For our mutual inspiration, below I have placed below a section where Sri Chinmoy talks about doing one particular prayer.

... On a daily basis if we do not take exercise, if we do not take a shower, if we do not brush our teeth, what will happen? If we do not brush our teeth every day, the dentist will say, “How can I treat you?” It will be a hopeless case!

In the same way, if we do not do our daily prayer, we become weak, weak, weak. If I do not take exercise every day, I will become physically weak. If I do not do necessary things, then will I not suffer? I will be the one to suffer — nobody else. Our parents taught us, “Take a shower, brush your teeth.” In this way they played the role of a doctor with regard to our hygiene. Whatever we have learnt from our parents in this way, we do.

When a spiritual Master comes into our life, he tells us everything to do on a daily basis. We know it is good, but if we neglect and neglect, we become weak. Spiritual Masters always suffer when their disciples do not practise the spiritual disciplines. What can the Master do if the disciples do not practise spiritual disciplines?

- Sri Chinmoy, Devotion becomes a magnet, Agni Press, 2013