1. Sakām (With expectations) and Nishkām (Without expectations) prayer
1A. Sakām prayer
Meaning : A prayer made for the fulfillment of a desire or worldly happiness.
Examples : 1. O God ! Let me acquire a lot of wealth. 2. O God ! Let my stomachache be cured.
1B. Nishkām prayer
Meaning : A prayer that is devoid of any worldly desires.
A nishkām prayer does not contain any worldly intention, desire or expectation.
This prayer contains self-surrender unto God.
This type of prayer eliminates ego and desires and leads to spiritual progress.
A prayer pertaining to spiritual progress or Guru’s mission is considered a nishkām prayer.
Example : O God ! Please get the Dharmakārya (Mission unto Dharma) performed through me as per your expectations.
An individual who performs sakām worship offers sakām prayers, while an individual who performs nishkām worship offers nishkām
He who offers a sakām prayer gets entrapped in Māyā (Great Illusion), while he who prays in a nishkām manner moves towards God-realisation by overcoming Māyā.
Therefore, whoever performs sādhanā for God-realisation should pray in a nishkām
2. Vyashṭī (Individual) and Samashṭī (For the sake of the society) prayer
2A. Vyashṭi prayer
Praying for individual gain, removal of unhappiness, spiritual progress, etc. is a ‘vyashṭī prayer’.
2B. Samashṭī prayer
Praying for the benefit of our family, community, society, village, town, city, country, for removal of their unhappiness, their spiritual progress, etc. is a ‘samashṭī prayer’. The perspective of a seeker in the preliminary stage of sādhanā (Spiritual practice) for God-realisation is limited only to – ‘Me and my sādhanā.’ However, it is necessary to develop a bhāv (Spiritual emotion) of ‘वसुधैवकुटुंबकम् ।’ (‘The entire universe is my home’) for God-realisation. A samashṭī prayer is useful in that direction, because expansiveness and love towards others develops faster due to samashṭī prayers.
Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text, ‘Prayer – Importance and Examples’