Prayer is the Greatest Virtue
By Hazrat Inayat Khan
The first aspect of prayer is giving thanks to God for all the numberless blessings that are bestowed upon us at every moment of the day and night, and of which we are mostly unconscious.
The second aspect of prayer is laying our shortcomings before the unlimited perfection of the divine Being, and asking His forgiveness. This makes man conscious of his smallness, of his limitation, and therefore makes him humble before his God..
There are many virtues, but there is one principal virtue. Every moment passed outside the presence of God is sin, and every moment in His presence is virtue. The whole object after learning this way of communicating is to arrive at a stage where every moment of our life passes in communion with God, and where our every action is done as if God were before us. Is that within everyone’s reach? We are meant to be so. Just think of a person who is in love: when he eats or drinks, whatever he does, the image of the beloved is there. In the same way, when the love of God has come, it is natural to think of God in everything we do.
Prayer is a great virtue and is the only way of being free from all sin. In prayer a man reaches the Spirit of God which is all-powerful and ever-forgiving; and the power of prayer opens the doors of the heart in which God, the All-Merciful resides.
There are many different feelings which have their influence upon men, and give joy and exaltation; but there is none greater and more exalting than that of offering our faults and weaknesses before God and asking His pardon with true repentance and humility. No ethics, no philosophy, can give greater joy than this, which is sincere devotion to God; and the deepest joy is his, who knows best how to humble himself before God. The proud man, ignorant of greatness of God, and of His all-sufficient power, does not know this exaltation, which raises the soul from earth to Heaven.