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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 35: The Silent Gratitude

Then a Priestess said, Speak to us of Prayer.
And he answered, saying:
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.

For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?
And if it is for your comfort to pour out your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing.
When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.
Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion.
For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive:
And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted:
Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard.
It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.

I cannot teach you how to pray in words.
God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.
And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains.
But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart,
And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence:
“Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth.
“It is thy desire in us that desireth.
“It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine also.
“We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born:
“Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all.”

Then a Priestess said, Speak to us of Prayer.

It is strange that a priestess should ask about prayer. What is a priestess, if she does not know what prayer is? But this is true not only about one priest or one priestess. I have come across many priests and it was in the beginning a great shock to me that they are people who know nothing about religion; they are the people who know nothing of prayerfulness; they are the people who have never meditated. They worship, but their worship is superficial, it is not of the heart - and they worship on behalf of someone else. They are servants, not really priests.

In India, every rich man has a small temple in his house. But the rich man has no time for God. Why waste time for God? In that much time he can earn much. A priest can be purchased - and he will pray on behalf of you.

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