A king was pleased with one of his subjects, and granted him a boon. “Make a wish, and it is yours.” The man desperately wanted a bigger house to fit his growing family in, so he asked the king for one. “Your wish is my command!” And the king’s men built a big house for the subject.
Nice story. Except, by some measure, the subject didn’t do his homework well. People came to him and told him that he frittered away his golden opportunity. Some said he could have asked for money, gold, ornaments or land. Still others told him to think bigger. The king was obligated to keep his word, and so the subject could have asked for control over the king’s army, or treasury or even his entire kingdom.
One saint came by, and said if there was one thing he should have asked, it would have been the power that enabled the king to give such wishes – the power of generosity and selflessness.
Notwithstanding these remarks, and putting ourselves in the shoes of the subject, what should we ask for? We pray every day. We go to temples, and we ask for money, for status and for other short lived objects and experiences. The Power who we are praying to, has the capacity to give us anything. Instead of praying for that which is Infinite, we are praying for temporary, ephemeral and inconsequential things.