By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Sunday Guardian | May 25, 2020
Any person who has become conscious of the existence and presence of God has experienced the most important and heart-shaking of experiences. Suddenly, the world and that individual’s place in it takes on a completely different aspect and meaning. So many people wander through their journey of earthly life without discovering what that meaning is—they are born, grow, eat and drink, mate, age and die, without ever realizing that their physical components of atoms are as minute and insignificant as those of one tiny ant lost on a huge planet; but these atoms are only the temporary belongings of a soul which inhabits a vastly different plane of existence. A believer becomes a believer when some inkling of that reality enters his conscious mind. The person may never have thought about God at all or realized that the faith of others was relevant; or that person may have prayed routinely and out of familiar duty for years. The moment of realization, if it comes, is different for every individual.
But once it comes, life changes forever for that individual. It is not only the overwhelming realization that there really is a God, an Almighty and Supreme Being, but that the power and ‘heart’ of this Being created and now maintains all that exists, encompasses the entire vastness of all the universes, and yet at the same time is aware not only of each person as an individual, but of each ant, and of each microbe that may live within the body of that ant. Prayer is an acknowledgment of our absolute dependence on God on one hand, in contrast to God’s absolute power on the other. The act of prayer puts us in our true place, and also acknowledges God’s rightful station.
Prayer, then, is not the wishful thinking or illusions of the pious but is actually acceptance of things as they are; in prayer, consciousness is the ultimate degree of realism; and the apprehension of reality, in turn, is the most excellent of all actions.