Ayatollah Khamenei

4 preconditions to fulfill our prayers described by Ayatollah Khamenei

What prayers should we say that are followed by fulfillment? Sometimes, we ask God for things and we feel that they have not been granted on the face of it. The important condition for the fulfillment of our requests is that prayers are said in the true sense of the word and by observing the necessary conditions. The first condition is that prayers are said with a fresh and sincere heart such as the hearts of the youth. This is why the possibility that the prayers of the youth are answered is higher than that of others. Sometimes, some people ask me to pray for their youth. Of course, we always pray for all the youth, but in fact, it is youth whose prayers are more likely to be answered if they appreciate the value of their sincere and fresh hearts.

Another condition for the fulfillment of our prayers is that we say them by having full knowledge of their effect. In other words, we should know that we are saying these prayers and making these requests to one who has the power to do what we want. This means that we should believe in the effect of prayers. Imam Sadiq (peace and greetings be upon him) was told, “We pray, but our prayers are not answered.” In response he said, “This is because you pray without understanding.” There is a narration about understanding praying that says, “Do they know that I am able to give them what they ask for?”

You should have lofty aspirations when praying. You should make lofty requests. You should ask for bliss in this world and in the hereafter. You should not say that such requests are too great and too extravagant. These requests are nothing for Allah the Exalted. The main point is that you should make requests to Allah the Exalted in the true sense of the word and by observing these conditions. And Allah the Exalted will grant those requests. Sometimes, we do not know that the thing that has happened is an answer to our prayers. Sometimes, we ourselves do not know this.

Another condition for saying prayers is avoiding sins and repenting. These nights are the nights of repentance. All of us are subject to sins and wrongdoings. Wrongdoings are of small and big kinds. We should apologize to Allah the Exalted, ask for His forgiveness and repent and return to Him. We should be determined not to commit sins. Sometimes, we decide not to commit sins, but later on, we show negligence and make mistakes. And the result is that we commit sins. Once more, we should repent and apologize to God. However, our repentance should be serious and genuine. Avoiding sins should be a real and serious decision.

There is a narration about praying and fulfillment of one’s prayers that says, “Anyone who wants his prayers to be answered should liberate themselves from the wrongdoings that they have committed towards other people.” There is another narration in which Allah the Exalted says to Hazrat Musa (a.s.): “Oh Musa, call me with a pure heart and with a sincere tongue.” You should speak and pray to Allah the Exalted with a pure heart and with a truthful tongue. Under such circumstances, your prayers will definitely be answered.

Another condition for the fulfillment of prayers is the presence of one’s heart and humility. As we said, praying means that you speak to God, feel Him in front of you and consider Him to be Omnipresent. If you say something and make a request out of habit – for example, “God, forgive us, forgive our parents” – without really wanting this in your heart, this is not praying, rather it is uttering some words: “Allah the Magnificent and the Mighty will not answer a prayer that is empty of heart and soul.” If an ignorant, indifferent and careless heart engages in praying, Allah the Exalted will not answer it. How can corrupt hearts, which are drowning in lusts and selfish desires, pray? How can we expect God to answer our prayers in such circumstances?    

Some people postpone praying, worshipping and repenting until they become old. This is a grave mistake. If they are told to repent, they say that there is plenty of time for that. First of all, it is not clear whether we will have time for that or not. Death does not inform us of its arrival. This is the case for all age groups. Let us assume that we really have time for praying. In other words, we know that we will reach an advanced age. Even so, if someone thinks that they can spend their youth indulging themselves and drowning in lust and later on engage in repentance with peace of mind, they have made a grave mistake. Our state for praying and repenting is not something that occurs to us whenever we want it. Sometimes, we want it to occur, but it does not. We want to have the feeling of repenting, but we cannot have it: “This is because of the deeds which your hands sent forth” [The Holy Quran, 22: 10].

A person who has not prepared the ground, in his heart and soul, for paying attention to God and returning to Him, cannot knock at His door whenever they wish to do so. As you witness, some pure hearts – often the hearts of youth – can easily relate to God, but some people cannot establish a relationship with Him no matter how hard they try. Those people who have the opportunity to do so and who can keep their hearts soft should appreciate the value of this and preserve their relationship with God so that they can knock at His door whenever they want. 

Oct 21, 2005


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  • 2017-06-13 07:45
    Mashallah! very deep information about prayer. God bless you.