Holy Ecstasy of Prayer

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on the power of prayer and the effect it has on the soul. 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

Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

First Reading

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

Judaism, Psalms 91:15

To thee have We granted the Fount of Abundance. Therefore to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.

Islam, Surah 108:1-2

O thou spiritual friend! … 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. Beside all this, prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá


Second Reading

Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of God is the greatest thing in life without doubt.

Islam, Surah 29:45

Fasting and obligatory prayer constitute the two pillars that sustain the revealed Law of God. Bahá’u’lláh … affirms that He has revealed the laws of obligatory prayer and fasting so that through them the believers may draw nigh unto God.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. …Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Christianity, James 5:13-16

These are Verses of the Wise Book, a Guide and a Mercy to the Doers of Good: Those who establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity, have in their hearts the assurance of the Hereafter.

Islam, Surah 31:2-4

O Thou Who art the Lord of all names and the Maker of the heavens! I beseech Thee by them Who are the Daysprings of Thine invisible Essence, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, to make of my prayer a fire that will burn away the veils which have shut me out from Thy beauty, and a light that will lead me unto the ocean of Thy Presence. … Make my prayer, O my Lord, a fountain of living waters whereby I may live as long as Thy sovereignty endureth, and may make mention of Thee in every world of Thy worlds.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: be that the word of remembrance to those who remember their Lord:

Islam, Surah 11:114


Third Reading

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

Judaism, Psalm 145:18

Pray in all righteousness and the Deity will be pleased to listen to your supplication. Foolish is he who, in impatient eagerness and without following the path of righteousness, hopes to obtain divine protection.

Shinto, Shinto-Uden-Futsujosho

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray … at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And in praying do not heap up empty phrases …. for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Christianity, Matthew 6:5-8

The Great Spirit is everywhere; he hears whatever is in our minds and hearts, and it is not necessary to speak to him in a loud voice.

Native American, Sioux, Black Elk

If I do not pray to thee with my heart, Thou hearest me not. If I pray to thee with my heart, Thou knowest it and art gracious unto me.

African Traditional, Boran Prayer

Having perceived cause and effect, I with reverence say thus, “Every son and every daughter ought, with their whole mind, to engage in fervent prayer.”

Buddhism, Sukhavativyuha Sutra 10

Worship me through meditation in the sanctuary of the heart.

Hinduism, Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5

Of all the prayers of the heart, the best prayer is the prayer to the Master to be given the grace of properly praising the Lord.

Sikhism, Adi Granth, Maru Ashtpadi, M.5


Open Prayers


Fourth Reading

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Judaism, Psalm 55.22

When my servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close to them; I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me; let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me; that they may walk in the right way.

Islam, Surah 2:186

Let us turn our hearts away from the world of matter and live in the spiritual world! It alone can give us freedom! If we are hemmed in by difficulties we have only to call upon God, and by His great Mercy we shall be helped. If sorrow and adversity visit us, let us turn our faces to the Kingdom and heavenly consolation will be outpoured. If we are sick and in distress let us implore God’s healing, and He will answer our prayer. When our thoughts are filled with the bitterness of this world, let us turn our eyes to the sweetness of God’s compassion and He will send us heavenly calm! If we are imprisoned in the material world, our spirit can soar into the Heavens and we shall be free indeed!

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

Closing Prayer

Make firm our steps, O Lord, in Thy path and strengthen Thou our hearts in Thine obedience. Turn our faces toward the beauty of Thy oneness, and gladden our bosoms with the signs of Thy divine unity. Adorn our bodies with the robe of Thy bounty, and remove from our eyes the veil of sinfulness, and give us the chalice of Thy grace; that the essence of all beings may sing Thy praise before the vision of Thy grandeur. Reveal then Thyself, O Lord, by Thy merciful utterance and the mystery of Thy divine being, that the holy ecstasy of prayer may fill our souls – a prayer that shall rise above words and letters and transcend the murmur of syllables and sounds – that all things may be merged into nothingness before the revelation of Thy splendor. Lord! These are servants that have remained fast and firm in Thy Covenant and Thy Testament, that have held fast unto the cord of constancy in Thy Cause and clung unto the hem of the robe of Thy grandeur. Assist them, O Lord, with Thy grace, confirm with Thy power and strengthen their loins in obedience to Thee. Thou art the Pardoner, the Gracious

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Photo from Baha’i Media Bank, Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

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