Paramahamasaji, from 'Steps to Yoga'

Prayer should emerge from the bottom of your heart.

Prayer must come out in the form of perfect self-expression.

Prayer that is true and original is at once heard, and accepted by the Lord. Borrowed prayers are not original. Classical prayers are not true. True and original prayer is that prayer which represents your inner condition and is expressed in the language you understand well.

Prayer cannot he taught in a school or a convent. I say prayer need not to be taught at all. Every man has in him the virtue of praying, which can he manifested by means of bhakti. What one needs to know is that in him there lies a divine force, which, if awakened, can render anything possible. Beware of artificial, ambiguous, borrowed and mechanical prayers; they will have to be kept out of the list.

The prayers you have often heard, in ashrams, temples and in mass congregations are anything but 'prayers'. They are surface superimpositions which, when needed, dwindle into any nothings. Such prayers belong to the department of intellect, while I wish to awaken that prayer which is 'an expression of your inner bhav and feelings.