Devotion to God

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on how we grow closer to God through our devotion to Him and service to humanity. These readings have been selected from various religious traditions. Please come and join us on Sundays at 9:30 am at the Beaverton Baha’i Center.

Opening Prayer

O God, my God! Thou art my Hope and my Beloved, my highest Aim and Desire! With great humbleness and entire devotion I pray to Thee to make me a minaret of Thy love in Thy land, a lamp of Thy knowledge among Thy creatures, and a banner of divine bounty in Thy dominion. Number me with such of Thy servants as have detached themselves from everything but Thee, have sanctified themselves from the transitory things of this world, and have freed themselves from the promptings of the voicers of idle fancies. Let my heart be dilated with joy through the spirit of confirmation from Thy kingdom, and brighten my eyes by beholding the hosts of divine assistance descending successively upon me from the kingdom of Thine omnipotent glory. Thou art, in truth, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the All-Powerful.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

First Reading

Yet, the right act Is less, far less, than the right-thinking mind. Seek refuge in thy soul; have there thy heaven! Scorn them that follow virtue for her gifts! The mind of pure devotion- even here-casts equally aside good deeds and bad, passing above them. Unto pure devotion devote thyself: with perfect meditation comes perfect act, and the right-hearted rise-more certainly because they seek no gain-forth from the bands of body, step by step, to highest seats of bliss … This is Yog- and Peace.

Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita

Baha’u’llah proclaims in the Hidden Words that God inspires His servants and is revealed through them. He says, “Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation.” Therefore, we learn that nearness to God is possible through devotion to Him, through entrance into the Kingdom and service to humanity; it is attained by unity with mankind and through loving-kindness to all; it is dependent upon investigation of truth, acquisition of praiseworthy virtues, service in the cause of universal peace and personal sanctification. In a word, nearness to God necessitates sacrifice of self, severance and the giving up of all to Him. Nearness is likeness.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá


Second Reading

It is God Who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape, and has provided for you sustenance, things pure and good; such is God your Lord. So Glory to God, the Lord of the Worlds! He is the Living One: There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds!

Islam, Quran, Surah 40:64-65

A person of true vision is not easy to find; they are not born everywhere. Wherever such a sage is born, the people there prosper. Blessed is the arising of the awakened; blessed is the teaching of the truth; blessed is the harmony of the community; blessed is the devotion of those who live in peace.

Buddhism, Dhammapada

They who follow Me must strive, under all circumstances, to promote the welfare of whosoever will arise for the triumph of My Cause, and must at all times prove their devotion and fidelity unto him. Happy is the man that hearkeneth and observeth My counsel.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Devotion to the Lord is love for the Lord. …Hypocrisy is not devotion, speaking words of duality leads only to misery. Those humble beings who are filled with keen understanding and meditative contemplation, even though they intermingle with others, they remain distinct. Those who keep the Lord enshrined within their hearts are said to be the servants of the Lord. Placing mind and body in offering before the Lord, they conquer and eradicate egotism from within.

Sikhism, Shri Guru Granth Sahib

Those that turn to Allah in repentance: that serve Him, and praise Him; that wander in devotion to the Cause of Allah; that bow down and prostrate themselves in prayer; that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limits set by Allah; these do rejoice. So proclaim the glad tidings to the Believers.

Islam, Qur’an, Surah 9:112


Third Reading

Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled within the seeker’s heart, and the breeze of His loving-kindness is wafted upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and certitude envelop his being. At that hour will the Mystic Herald, bearing the joyful tidings of the Spirit, shine forth from the City of God resplendent as the morn, and, through the trumpet-blast of knowledge, will awaken the heart, the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of heedlessness. Then will the manifold favors and outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit confer such new life upon the seeker that he will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind. He will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with the eye of God, he will perceive within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of absolute certitude. He will discover in all things the mysteries of Divine Revelation, and the evidences of an everlasting Manifestation.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Whoever serves Me, constantly true, in full devotion fixed, these I hold holy. Worshipping Me, the One, the Invisible, the Unrevealed, the Unnamed, the All-pervading, All-Highest, who thus adore Me of one mind, these blessed souls come unto Me. Unto pure devotion devote thyself.

Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita

For the attributes of the people of faith are justice and fair-mindedness; forbearance and compassion and generosity; consideration for others; candor, trustworthiness, and loyalty; love and loving-kindness; devotion and determination and humanity. If therefore an individual is truly righteous, he will avail himself of all those means which will attract the hearts of men, and through the attributes of God he will draw them to the straight path of faith and cause them to drink from the river of everlasting life.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá


Open Prayers


Fourth Reading

… I desire that your hearts may be directed to the Kingdom of God, that your intentions may be pure and sincere, your purposes turned toward altruistic accomplishment unmindful of your own welfare; nay, rather, may all your intentions center in the welfare of humanity, and may you seek to sacrifice yourselves in the pathway of devotion to mankind. … be devoted to your spiritual development. Just as you have striven along material lines and have attained to high degrees of worldly advancement, may you likewise become strengthened and proficient in the knowledge of God. May divine susceptibilities be increased and awakened; may your devotion to the heavenly Kingdom become intense. May you be the recipients of the impulses of the Holy Spirit, be assisted in the world of morality and attain ideal power so that the sublimity of the world of mankind may become apparent in you. Thus may you attain the highest happiness, the eternal life, the everlasting glory, the second birth, and become manifestations of the bestowals of God.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

Closing Prayer

O Thou forgiving God! These servants are turning to Thy kingdom and seeking Thy grace and bounty. O God! Make their hearts good and pure in order that they may become worthy of Thy love. Purify and sanctify the spirits that the light of the Sun of Reality may shine upon them. Purify and sanctify the eyes that they may perceive Thy light. Purify and sanctify the ears in order that they may hear the call of Thy kingdom. O Lord! Verily, we are weak, but Thou art mighty. Verily, we are poor, but Thou art rich. We are the seekers, and Thou art the One sought. O Lord! Have compassion upon us and forgive us; bestow upon us such capacity and receptiveness that we may be worthy of Thy favors and become attracted to Thy kingdom, that we may drink deep of the water of life, may be enkindled by the fire of Thy love, and be resuscitated through the breaths of the Holy Spirit in this radiant century. O God, my God! Cast upon this gathering the glances of Thy loving-kindness. Keep safe each and all in Thy custody and under Thy protection. Send down upon these souls Thy heavenly blessings. Immerse them in the ocean of Thy mercy and quicken them through the breaths of the Holy Spirit.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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