From the book “A Discourse on Prayer”, published in Young India

Mahatama Gandhi explains the meaning and necessity of prayers in everyday life of a human. He explains how is it different than uttering words in your mouth, how they serve the hunger of the soul to connect with the divine. And thus in turn, why are prayers the base of all religion. He goes on explaining the need for discipline and restraint.

In his own words here:

Prayers are very soul and essence of religion and therefore must be the very core of the life of man. By reason, or by instinct or by superstition, man acknowledges some sort of relation or connection with divine. Prayer is either petitioned or in its wider sense is inner communication. In either case, result is the same. Even when it is petitioned, the petition should be for cleansing or purification of the soul, for freeing it from the layers of ignorance and darkness that envelop it. He who hungers for the awakening of the divine in him, must fall back to prayers.

But prayers are not mere exercise of words or of the ears, it is no mere repetition of empty formula. Any amount of repetition of Ramayana is futile if it don’t stir your soul. It is better in prayers to have a heart without words than a word without heart. It must be in clear response to the spirit which hungers for it. And even as a hungry man relishes the hearty meal, a hungry soul will relish a heart-felt prayer.

I learned that discipline and dedication are key to success and here in his speech Mahatama Gandhi explains that payers are spiritual discipline.

Truth is its own reward…