Turning to God

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on the peace and strength that comes from turning to God. 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 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.

First Reading

Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Christianity Acts 26:19-20

O Lord! Verily, we are weak, but Thou art mighty. Verily, we are poor, but Thou art rich. We are 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.Thou art the Powerful the Omnipotent, the Merciful, and Thou art the Generous, the Beneficent, the Lord of grace abounding.

Baha’i Faith, Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i Prayers P 112

Music
Second Reading

Thy Lord hath verily singled thee out for His love, and hath led thee into His precincts of holiness, and made thee to enter the garden of those who are His close companions, and hath blessed thee with beholding His beauty…
Recite ye the verses of God every morn and eventide. Whoso faileth to recite them hath not been faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament, and whoso turneth away from these holy verses in this Day is of those who throughout eternity have turned away from God. Fear ye God, O My servants, one and all.

Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas

The Gurmukh is happy, while the self-willed manmukh is sad.
The Gurmukh turns toward the Guru, and the self-willed manmukh turns away from the Guru.
The Gurmukh is united with the Lord, while the manmukh is separated from Him. The Gurmukh reveals the way. |
To live as Gurmukh is the lifestyle by which we come to meditate on the Supreme Lord. The Gurmukh sings the Kirtan of His Praises.

Sikhism, Shri Guru Granth Sahib

O MOVING FORM OF DUST!
I desire communion with thee, but thou wouldst put no trust in Me. The sword of thy rebellion hath felled the tree of thy hope. At all times I am near unto thee, but thou art ever far from Me. Imperishable glory I have chosen for thee, yet boundless shame thou hast chosen for thyself. While there is yet time, return, and lose not thy chance.

Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, The Persian Hidden Words #21

Music
Third Reading

And whencesoever thou comest forth (for prayer, O Muhammad) turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord. Allah is not unaware of what ye do.

Whencesoever thou comest forth turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship; and wheresoever ye may be (O Muslims) turn your faces toward it (when ye pray) so that men may have no argument against you, save such of them as do injustice – Fear them not, but fear Me! – and so that I may complete My grace upon you, and that ye may be guided.

Islam, Qoran Surah 2:149

SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE
If thou wishest the divine knowledge and recognition, purify thy heart from all beside God, be wholly attracted to the ideal, beloved One; search for and choose Him and apply thyself to rational and authoritative arguments. For arguments are a guide to the path and by this the heart will be turned unto the Sun of Truth. And when the heart is turned unto the Sun, then the eye will be opened and will recognize the Sun through the Sun itself. Then man will be in no need of arguments (or proofs), for the Sun is altogether independent, and absolute independence is in need of nothing, and proofs are one of the things of which absolute independence has no need. Be not like Thomas; be thou like Peter. I hope you will be healed physically, mentally and spiritually.O GOD the Forgiver! O Heavenly Educator! This assembly is adorned with the mention of thy holy Name. Thy children turn their face towards thy Kingdom, hearts are made happy and souls are comforted.

Bahai Faith, Abdul-Baha, Baha’i World Faith P 384

Music
Open Prayers
Music
Fourth Reading

Merciful God! cause us to repent of our shortcomings! Accept us in thy heavenly Kingdom and give unto us an abode where there shall be no error. Give us peace; give us knowledge, and open unto us the gates of thy heaven.
Thou art the Giver of all! Thou art the Forgiver! Thou art the Merciful! Amen.

Baha’i, Abdul-Baha, Abdul-Baha in London p 25

Closing Prayer

Praise be to Thee, O Lord my God! I implore Thee by Thy Name that hath caused to surge within every drop the oceans of Thy loving-kindness and mercy … The glory of Thy might beareth me witness! Were they, every moment of their lives, to offer up themselves as a sacrifice in Thy path, they would still have done but little in comparison with the manifold bestowals vouchsafed unto them by Thee.
Grant, therefore, I beseech Thee, that their hearts may be inclined towards Thee, and that their faces may be turned in the direction of Thy good-pleasure. Powerful art Thou to do what Thou willest. No God is there but Thee, the Inaccessible, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving.

Deign, then, to accept, O my God, from Thy servant the things which he hath shown forth in his love for Thee. Fortify him, then, that he may cling to Thy most exalted Word, and to unloose his tongue to celebrate Thy praise, and cause him to be gathered unto such of Thy people as are nigh unto Thee. Thou art He within Whose grasp is the empire of all things. There is no God but Thee, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the All-Glorious, the Unconstrained.

Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations P 161

Photo by Anders Ipsen on Unsplash

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