On prayer..... excerpts from "Baha'i Writings":

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    While in Haifa, the beloved Guardian of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi, gave to the writer, the most concise, complete and effective formula she has ever seen, for the Dynamics of Prayer. After saying to stress the need of more prayer and meditation among the friends, he said to use these five steps if we had a problem of any kind for which we desired a solution, or wished help.

    (First step) Pray and mediate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of contemplation for a few moments.

    (Second step) Arrive to a decision and hold this. This decision is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment, but if it seems to be an answer to prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.

    (Third step) Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding in to determination is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step.

    (Fourth step) Have faith and confidence, that the power will flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the right thought, the right message, the right principle or the right book will be given you. Have confidence, and the right thing will come to your need. Then as you rise from prayer take at once the fifth step.

    (Fifth step) Then he said, lastly, Act! Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And, as you act, you, yourself will become a magnet which will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for the Divine Power to flow through you. Many pray, but do not remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to carry the decision through, and still fewer have the confidence that the right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as though it had all been answered? How true are those words "Greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered", and greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out.

    (SOW - Star of the West, Star of the West - 10)
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    On intercessory prayer:

    "Intercession, a special teaching of this Religion
    The following was sent by Miss Ethel Rosenberg from her notes while in 'Akká 1904. (Extract from the Teachings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.)


    The Master said that by the mercy of God, not through His justice, the condition of those who have died in sin and unbelief can be changed. We are commanded to pray that their condition may be changed. As we have the power to pray for those souls here, so we shall have the same power in the after-life in the Kingdom. The power of this prayer of intercession is a special teaching of this religion. To pray for the dead was not given as a special religious command (of the divine Teachers) until this day of the Blessed Perfection (Bahá'u'lláh). The grace of effective intercession is one of the perfections belonging to perfect and advanced souls, as well as to the Manifestations of God. Jesus Christ had the power of interceding for the forgiveness of his enemies when on earth, and he certainly has this power now!
    'Abdu'l-Bahá never mentions the name of a dead person without saying, "May God forgive him!" or words to that effect.

    He says, "Followers of the prophets have also this power of praying for the forgiveness of souls; therefore we may not think that any soul is condemned to a stationary condition of suffering or loss, arising from their absolute ignorance of God. The power of effective, intercession for them always exists. All the people in the other world, are they not the creatures of God? Therefore, they can progress in the other world. As they can receive light from supplication here, there they can also receive light from supplication."

    (SOW - Star of the West, Star of the West - 5)
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    There's more on the topic of intercession that I'll share here... I love the first quote and both are to me significant:

    "The wealth of the other world is nearness to God. Consequently it is certain that those who are near the Divine Court are allowed to intercede, and this intercession is approved by God. But intercession in the other world is not like intercession in this world: it is another thing, another reality, which cannot be expressed in words...


    "It is even possible that the condition of those who have died in sin and unbelief may become changed; that is to say, they may become the object of pardon through the bounty of God, not through His justice; for bounty is giving without desert, and justice is giving what is deserved. As we have power to pray for these souls here, so likewise we shall possess the same power in the other world, which is the Kingdom of God. Are not all the people in that world the creatures of God? Therefore in that world also they can make progress. As here they can receive light by their supplication, there also they can plead for forgiveness, and receive light through entreaties and supplications. Thus as souls in this world, through the help of the supplications, the entreaties, and the prayers of the holy ones, can acquire development, so is it the same after death. Through their own prayers and supplications they can also progress; more especially when they are the object of the intercession of the Holy Manifestations."

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 329
     
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "O thou spiritual friend!
    "Thou hast asked the wisdom of prayer. Know thou that prayer is indispensable and obligatory, and man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from performing the prayer unless he be mentally unsound, or an insurmountable obstacle prevent him. The wisdom of prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because in that state man with all heart and soul turneth his face towards His Highness the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and compassion. The greatest happiness for a lover is to converse with his beloved, and the greatest gift for a seeker is to become familiar with the object of his longing; that is why with every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God, his greatest hope is to find an opportunity to entreat and supplicate before his Beloved, appeal for His mercy and grace and be immersed in the ocean of His utterance, goodness and generosity.

    "Besides all this, prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests..."


    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 368
     

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