..a humble attempt to highlight some of the spiritual gems contained in prayers revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

March 10, 2014

Acknowledging our human state of being as believers and things for which we need to ask God for help

  • Acknowledging our human condition on the plane of servitude:
    • “feeble servants”
    • “loyal bondsmen”
    • “handmaidens”
    • “bowed… down before… [God’] exalted Utterance”
    •  “humbled… at…[God’s] Threshold of light”
    • “borne witness to… [God’s] oneness”
    • “listened to the summons… [God] didst raise from out Thy hidden Realm”
    • “responded to… [God’s] call” “with hearts quivering with love and rapture”
  • Things for which we need to ask God for help:
    • To “shower upon… [us] all the outpourings of… [His] mercy”
    • To “rain down upon… [us] all the waters of… [His] grace”
    • To “grow as beauteous plants in the garden of heaven”
  • Other metaphors:
    • God’s “full and brimming clouds of…bestowals”
    • God’s “deep pools of… abounding grace”
    • God’s “garden of heaven”
    • We pray to God to keep this “garden of heaven” “to flower and keep it ever green and lustrous, ever fresh and shimmering and fair.”

November 10, 2013

Appreciating the conditions of a human being, the loftiness and vastness of God’s riches and favors, and the Intermediary role of God’s Manifestation

  • God’s “true lovers” became “so enraptured by …[His] sweet utterance that they hastened unto the Pinnacle of Glory, the site of the most glorious martyrdom”
  • There are “mysteries which lie enshrined in…[God’s] knowledge"
  • There are “pearls… treasured in the ocean of…[God’s] bounty"
  • Attributes describing the condition of a human being:
    • “essence of sinfulness”
    • “feeble one”
    • “poor creature”
    • “sins”
    • “trespasses”
    • to “have committed that which Thou didst forbid me to do”
    • to “have put away what Thou didst order me to observe”
  • Metaphors describing God’s attributes:
    • “the ocean of Thy favour”
    • “the kingdom of Thy divine power”
    • “the day-star of Thy wealth”
    • “the revelations of Thy bounty”
    • “Thy door which Thou hast opened wide to all that dwell in Thy heaven and on Thine earth.”
    • “the Court of Thy holiness”
    • “the Tabernacle of Thy majesty”
  • I pray to God by “Him Who is the sovereign Lord of Names” to:
    • “write down for me with the Pen of…[His] bounty that which will enable me to draw nigh unto…[Him] and will purge me from my trespasses which have intervened between me and…[His] forgiveness and…[His] pardon.”

July 21, 2013

The relationship between God and His Manifestations

Insights from this prayer by Baha’u’llah
  • In God’s creation there is a “Center” “Which is wholly subjected to… [God’s] sovereignty, Which adoreth…[God’s] Beauty, and is propelled through the movement of…[God’s] Pen.
  • This “Center” attracts to Its orbit:
    • “The loftiest sentiments which the holiest of saints can express in praise of” God; and
    • “the deepest wisdom which the most learned of men can utter in their attempts to comprehend” God’s “nature”.
  • Even though this “Center” is “propelled through the movement of” God’s “Pen” there is no “existence of any direct relationship between the Pen of” God’s “Revelation and the essence of all created things.” “Far, far are They Who are related to Thee [God] above the conception of such relationship!”
Question: Could this “Center” be the “Primal Will of God” that each Manifestation of God presents gradually to humanity? What about the “Pen”? Does that also refer to the Manifestation of God or to the Entity acting on the “Primal Will of God”?
  • Baha’u’llah reminds us that “All comparisons and likenesses fail to do justice to the Tree of Thy [God’s] Revelation, and every way is barred to the comprehension of the Manifestation of Thy [God’s] Self and the Day Spring of Thy [God’s] Beauty.”
  • So we, as human beings, can never really comprehend the relationship between God and His Manifestations or the nature of the Manifestation Himself.
  • No one else besides Thee [God] hath, at any time, been able to fathom Thy[God’s] mystery, or befittingly to extol Thy[God’s] greatness.”
  •  “Unsearchable and high above the praise of men wilt Thou [God] remain for ever. There is none other God but Thee, the Inaccessible, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Holy of Holies.”

February 22, 2013

The existence of some very exalted Beings in the Domains of God

Insights from this prayer by Baha’u’llah

In the Domains of God there are exalted Beings:
  • “Who are the highest Embodiments of perception”
  • Who are known as “the Well Springs of wisdom” – They’ve been “generated through the operation” of God’s Will.
  • Who are the inmost essence of oneness”. They are “sent down” to this world by God and “are but the evidences” of God’s “handiwork.”
  • “Who are the Quintessence of knowledge”. They are “the creation and instruments” of God’s Purpose.
Question: Should we understand that these Beings are the Manifestations of God Who appear in this contingent world or should we also assume that some belong to different worlds of God unknown to us? 

October 21, 2012

A human being can’t hope to befittingly praise and magnify God

Insights from this prayer by Baha’u’llah

  • A human “tongue, however deep its wisdom” can’t “befittingly magnify” God’s “name”.
  • The “bird of the human heart, however great its longing” can’t “ascend into the heaven of” God’s “majesty and knowledge.”
  • Human “perception”, “wisdom”, and “knowledge” are “but the creation and instruments” of God’s “Will” and “Purpose”.
  • God is “immeasurably exalted… above the strivings of mortal man to unravel” His “mystery”, to “describe” His “glory”, “or even to hint at the nature of” His “Essence”.  It is because such attempts can never hope to “transcend the limitations imposed upon” man since such “efforts are actuated by… [God’s] decree, and are begotten of… [God’s] invention.”

June 16, 2012

God is immeasurably glorified and exalted above our understanding

    Insights from this prayer by the Báb
  • The loftiest station” to which our human “perception can soar” and “the utmost height which the minds and souls of men can scale are but signs created through the potency” of God’s “command and tokens manifested through the power” of His “Revelation”.
  • The glory of God is so far beyond our reach that no one other than God can truly “make mention” of Himself or attempt to “voice” God’s “praise”.
  • The “very essence of every reality beareth witness to its debarment from the precincts of the court” of God’s “nearness”.
  • The “quintessence of every being testifieth to its failure to attain” God’s “holy Presence”
  • The only thing that befit God is “the befitting mention made by Thine Own Self, and that only which is worthy of Thee is the anthem of praise voiced by Thine Own Essence..”
  • Revelation and Creation are two of the kingdoms of God.

May 12, 2012

The early life of the Báb

Insights from this prayer by the Báb

The progressive phases of the early life of the Báb
  • In the womb
    • Thou didst create Me, O Lord, through Thy gracious favour and didst protect Me through Thy bounty in the darkness of the womb and didst nourish Me, through Thy loving-kindness, with life-giving blood.”
    • “After having fashioned Me in a most comely form, through Thy tender providence, and having perfected My creation through Thine excellent handiwork and breathed Thy Spirit into My body through Thine infinite mercy and by the revelation of Thy transcendent unity, Thou didst cause Me to issue forth from the world of concealment into the visible world, naked, ignorant of all things, and powerless to achieve aught.”
  • Early Childhood
    • Thou didst then nourish Me with refreshing milk and didst rear Me in the arms of My parents with manifest compassion, until Thou didst graciously acquaint Me with the realities of Thy Revelation and apprised Me of the straight path of Thy Faith as set forth in Thy Book.”

April 12, 2012

To spread "the light of guidance"

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • to have “loving and tender hearts”.
  • to “spread … the light of guidance that cometh from the Company on high” 
  • Some of the attributes of God of which we’ve become aware through His Manifestations:
    • “the Strong”,
    • “the Powerful”,
    • “the Mighty”,
    • “the All-Subduing”,
    • “the Ever-Giving”,
    • “the Generous”,
    • “the Gentle”,
    • “the Tender”,
    • “the Most Bountiful”.

March 12, 2012

Recognition of the Manifestation of God

Insights from this prayer of Baha'u'llah

One needs God’s assistance to recognize His latest Manifestation
  • God’s “signs … have encompassed the entire creation”;
  • The light of God’s “countenance[through His Manifestation].. hath illuminated all that are in heaven and on earth”;
  • God’s “mercy … hath surpassed all created things”;
  • God’s “grace … hath suffused the whole universe”;
  • I need God’s help to “rend asunder the veils that shut me out from” Him;
  • When such “veils” are removed I would “hasten unto the Fountain-Head of Thy mighty inspiration, and to the Day-Spring of Thy Revelation and bountiful favors” – thereby recognize God’s latest Manifestation;
  • This recognition of God’s latest Manifestation would allow me to “be immersed beneath the ocean of Thy[God’s] nearness and pleasure”.

February 5, 2012

The Báb’s feelings towards Baha’u’llah

Insights from this prayer by the Báb
  • The Báb asks God to cause the “Tree of the Bayan” “to be made into a magnificent Scroll” so that it could be “offered to the presence of Him Whom Thou wilt make manifest”
  • The Báb asks God
    • by God’s “bounty”,
    • by the “outpourings” of His “mercy and bestowals”
    • and by the “evidences” of His “heavenly favours and grace”, to  watch over Him Whom God shall make manifest that no trace of despondency may ever touch Him.”

February 4, 2012

How we should view our dependency and interactions with Baha’u’llah

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • “we come with no provision but our sins,”, “with no good deeds to tell of, only hopes.”
  • “Unless” Baha’u’llah’s “concealing veil” would cover us and His “protection shield and cradle us, what power” do we “helpless souls” have to rise and serve” Him, “what substance” do we the “wretched ones” have “to make a brave display?”
  • We need Him to “help us”, to “favour us”;
  • “ withered as we are,” we need Baha’u’llah to “revive us with showers from” His “clouds of grace”;
  • “lowly as we are,” we need Baha’u’llah to “illumine us with bright rays from the Day-Star” of His “oneness.”
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “Cast” “these thirsty fish into the ocean of Thy mercy,”
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “guide … this lost caravan to the shelter” of His “singleness;”
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “lead... the ones who have wandered far astray” to the “wellspring of guidance”;
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “grant to those who have missed the path a haven within the precincts” of His “might”;
  • We humbly ask Baha’u’llah to:
    • “Lift Thou to these parched lips the bounteous and soft-flowing waters of heaven,”
    • “raise up these dead to everlasting life.”
    • “Grant Thou to the blind eyes that will see.”
    • “Make Thou the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak.”
    • “Set Thou the dispirited ablaze,”
    • “make Thou the heedless mindful,”
    • “warn Thou the proud,”
    • “awaken those who sleep.”

February 3, 2012

Some of the metaphors representing Baha’u’llah

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • “Cloud of Mercy,”
  • “Flowering Bed of grace”
  • “Sea of all bestowals”
  • “Sun of Bounty”

February 1, 2012

How our attitude should be towards God’s latest Manifestation, Baha’u’llah

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • He is our “holy Lord”
  • He is our “Lord of loving-kindness”
  • We “stray about” His “dwelling”,
  • We long to “behold” His “beauty,”
  • We love “all” His “ways.”
  • “We are hapless, lowly, and of small account.”
  • “We are paupers: show us mercy, give us bounty;
  • We ask Him not to “look … upon our failings”;
  • We ask Him to “hide … our endless sins.”;
  • “Whatever we are, still are we Thine”;
  • “what we speak and hear is praise of Thee”;
  • “it is Thy face we seek, Thy path we follow.”

January 29, 2012

God's help through His angels

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha

God can “support” and “help” us with His “angels of holiness” -- they who are His “invisible hosts”, His “heavenly battalions” who “bring down to defeat the massed armies of this nether world.”

January 28, 2012

We need God’s assistance to do the following tasks

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • to “arise to serve” God and “dedicate” ourselves “to the Kingdom” of His “divinity”;
  • to “set” our “faces toward the realm” of God’s Self-Subsistence”;
  • to “spread far and wide” God’s “signs”;
  • to “be illumined” by God’s “streaming lights”;
  • to “unfold” God’s “hidden mysteries”;
  • to “guide” God’s “servants unto gentle waters and to the fountain” of God’s “mercy that welleth and leapeth in the midmost heart of the Heaven” of God’s “oneness.”
  • to hoist the sail of detachment upon the Ark of Salvation, and move over the seas” of God’s “knowledge”;
  • to “spread wide the pinions of unity and by their aid soar upward to the Kingdom” of God’s “singleness to become servants whom the Supreme Concourse will applaud, whose praises the dwellers” in God’s “all-glorious realm will utter”;
  • to “hear the heralds of the invisible world as they raise their cry of the Most Great Glad-Tidings”;
  • to “invoke and pray unto” Him, in our “longing to meet” God, intoning wondrous orisons at the dawn of light”;
  • to shed our “tears at morningtide and even”;
  • to yearn to “pass into the shadow” of God’s “mercy that endeth never.”

January 23, 2012

In our spiritual growth and development we need God’s assistance to:

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • “Flood” our “minds” with His “holy light;”
  • “cleanse” our “hearts” with “the grace” of His “assistance;”
  • “gladden” our “bosoms with the fragrance of the joys that waft” from His “Company above;”
  • “make bright” our “eyes by beholding the signs and tokens” of His “might;”
  • “cause” us “to be the ensigns of purity, the banners of sanctity waving high above all creatures on the summits of the earth;”
  • “make” our “words to move hearts which are even as solid rock.”

January 21, 2012

We need to acknowledge our weak constitution as human beings and the fact that we are in desperate need of God’s assistance

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha

  • We “are weak souls standing” at the “door” of God;
  • We are “paupers” in God’s “courtyard”;
  • We are “desperate” for God’s “grace”;
  • We are “in dire need” of God’s “succour”;
  • We are “turning” our “faces toward the kingdom” of God’s “oneness, yearning for the bounties” of His “bestowals.”

January 14, 2012

Qualities and blessings that we need to ask God to bestow upon our fellow believers

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • to “help” His “chosen ones to be faithful”;
  • to “assist” His “loved ones to serve” at His “exalted Threshold”;
  • to “cause them to gain the victory through the battalions” of His “might that overpowereth all things”;
  • to “reinforce them with a great fighting host from out of the Concourse on high.”

January 7, 2012

I need God’s assistance to orient and strive towards the following areas of spiritual growth and transformation

Insights from this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha
  • to “sever myself from all else but” God;
  • to “lay hold of the hem” of God’s “garment of grandeur”;
  • to “consign to oblivion all that is not” God;
  • to “be companioned by the sweet breathings that waft during these .. days” of God;
  • to “attain unto faithfulness” at God’s “Threshold of Holiness”;
  • to “arise to serve” God’s “Cause”;
  • to “be humble before” God’s “loved ones”;
  • to “be nothingness itself” “in the presence” of God’s “favoured ones”.