Swami Paramatmananda, ….We should pray for the highest thing, not for lesser things, because lesser things just increase our desires, our vasanas. So, it amounts to praying to God to increase our bondage and our suffering when we pray for anything less than God-realisation. If we make that choice, it is all right, nothing wrong with it. But for one whose goal is to realise the bliss of God, if one feels that that is the ultimate, then, one has to pray only for that.
(Amma says), “New desires, new worlds are created. Along with that, you lengthen the chain of your anger, lust, greed, jealousy, delusion, and all other negative traits…praying for the fulfilment of petty desires does not involve any change in one’s personality. The person who prays in this way remains the same. His attitude remains the same.”
Many people say, “I’ve been praying to God for so many years and still I’m not making any spiritual progress. I go to the church every week, every Sunday. I do this and that and meditate.” Why? Why don’t they make any progress? One reason is this, that still their mind is occupied with, as Mother says, “petty desires”, not the highest desire for God.
So, this control of the mind, either through prayer or other means, is not just for us, not just for devotees, not just for spiritual people. It is for everybody. Because if you can’t control your mind, there is no way to succeed. It will always be distracted by various things, and the goal that you set before you won’t be possible to reach.
(pg. 63-64, Talks, Vol. 1)