Importance of Prayer

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on prayer and the effect it has on our lives. 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 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

First Reading

…Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Christianity, James 5:13-16

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.

Sioux Tradition, 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 Religions, Boran Prayer Kenya

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, Qur’an Surah 11:114

Music

Second Reading

O Shariputra, 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, Smaller Sukhavativyuha Sutra 10

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

…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 as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Christianity, Matthew 6.5-8

…those who establish regular Prayer, and practice regular charity and believe in Allah and the Last Day to them shall We soon give a great reward, have in their hearts the assurance of the Hereafter.

Islam, Qur’an Surah 4:162

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. … prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

To thee have We granted the Fount Of Abundance.
Therefore to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.
For he who hateth thee — he will be cut off from Future Hope.

Islam, Qur’an Surah 108:1-3

Music

Third 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 Allah is the greatest thing in life without doubt. And Allah knows the deeds that ye do.

Islam, Qur’an Surah 29:45

Supplicate to God, pray to Him and invoke Him at midnight and at dawn. Be humble and submissive to God and chant the verses of thanksgiving at morn and eve, for that He guided thee unto the Manifest Light and showed to thee the straight Path and destined to thee the station of nearness in His wonderful Kingdom.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

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, Qur’an, Surah 2:186

And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your Prayer…”

Islam, Qur’an Surah 40:60

Draw nigh unto God and persevere in thy communion with thy Lord, so that the fire of God’s love may glow more luminously in the heart, its heat grow stronger and give warmth to that region and its sound reach the Supreme Concourse.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

I have chosen thee: listen, then, to the inspiration sent to thee. “Verily, I am Allah: There is no god but I: so serve thou Me only, and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.

Islam, Qur’an Surah 20:13-14

Music

Open Prayers

Music

Fourth Reading

Fasting and obligatory prayer constitute the two pillars that sustain the revealed Law of God. … the laws of obligatory prayer and fasting so that through them the believers may draw nigh unto God. … the fasting period, which involves complete abstention from food and drink from sunrise till sunset … essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer strives to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are … fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires. … is enjoined on all the believers once they attain the age of 15 and until they reach the age of 70 years.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

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 by Daniel Mingook Kim on Unsplash

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