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Redlands, California
I posted a version of this on the BBC board this morning in response to a topic "Why Pray?" and thought it would be a good topic here as well...

Prayer is to me a way of connecting us with God and laying out our concerns and anxieties...It conveys that there is another reality besides the mundane material world. In the Baha'i Writings we call prayer conversation with God.

It also provides a very important social bonding for believers in crises...So if a family member is struck down by disease or accident those who know him/her incluidng releatives gather and demonstrate their solidarity and support for the person in prayer.

For an ill person in hospital prayer can be essential to their speedy recovery by instilling a positive attitude and by being less anxious therefore could reduce the need for more medications.

John Walbridge also summarized some Baha'i principles of prayer as follows:

The Bahá'í writings teach that the impulse to pray is natural and that prayer is essential to the development of spirituality. However, it is not the physical act of praying but the spiritual state induced by prayer that is important. Thus, Bahá'u'lláh stresses that brief and joyful prayer is superior to long but wearying prayer. Though prayer may be efficacious in obtaining specific material ends, it is more important to pray for conformity to the Will of God. The highest prayer is offered only out of love for God, without any other hope or fear. Nevertheless, prayer must be linked with practical measures to attain the goals sought. Prayer is essential to any undertaking and attracts the confirmations of God.


There are many refererences to prayer in the Writings but I thought this would be sufficient to start this thread.

- Art
I believe G-d hears our prayers before we utter them, before we think them, before we even think to think them...our needs are known.

Prayer to me doesn't change G-d, or the universe, or the situation.

Prayer is a way for me to change my perception of the situation.

Prayer is my opportunity to see truth...that all is in divine order and it is upto me to hold it in the light.

Prayer is my opportunity to quiet the noise in my mind, the negative influences of this plane and realize that what is is, and G-d doesn't make mistakes. I don't always get to see the whole picture, or understand all the workings, prayer will not always get me in a position to accept that, but should get me in a position to begin the process.
Of late, the past 2 years, prayer has made all the more sense to me!

Prayer is not for God's benefit .... it can only be in my favour! But also, I believe, God has put the mechanics of prayer into action right here in our dimension. When we speak of the effect of thoughts, vibrations, energy and how these work to cause an effect .... it makes sense to me at least.

you sit down, kneel, lie, prostrate, jump, cry, smile ..... create and send out the energy to cause the effect .... too wishy washy? again, makes sense to me.

Prayer also serves to quieten the chatter and racing. I find myself going almost insane not having had this quiet time daily...

Prayer rocks people!
Prayer before dawn...

As the sun rises later in the morning during the Fall season I have found that this is a good time to meditate and pray... The earth seems quiet and hushed just before the dawn of the new day. So I avail myself of this time.

After ablutions I sit in solitude after the fashion of a yogi in half lotus and open my heart to the pre-dawn time. Opening prayers for the day can be the dawn prayer:

"I have wakened in Thy shelter, O my God, and it becometh him that seeketh that shelter to abide within the Sanctuary of Thy protection and the Stronghold of Thy defense. Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, with the splendors of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation, even as Thou didst illumine my outer being with the morning light of Thy favor."


and perhaps a Hidden Word:


"Have ye forgotten that true and radiant morn, when in those hallowed and blessed surroundings ye were all gathered in My presence beneath the shade of the tree of life, which is planted in the all-glorious paradise?

"Awe-struck ye listened as I gave utterance to these three most holy words:

O friends! Prefer not your will to Mine,

never desire that which I have not desired for you,

and approach Me not with lifeless hearts, defiled with worldly desires and cravings.

"Would ye but sanctify your souls, ye would at this present hour recall that place and those surroundings, and the truth of My utterance should be made evident unto all of you."


Chanting the Greatest Name is also a good thing to do in the early morning time and lays a spiritual foundation for what follows in the day.

- Art