Reality, Soul and
the Worlds of God
 
IV.   The Workshop of Interacting Souls
[Compiler: “The Workshop of Interacting Souls” is a continuation of the “Life Path of the Soul” in Section III. E., but emphasizing the macrocosmic repercussions and macrocosmic environment of souls’ lives interacting with each other.]
E.   God’s Purpose for Man in Fulfillment
2.   The Soul Responding through Prayer
b.   The Wisdom of Prayer
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
1406.O Thou Who art the Lord of all names and the Maker of the heavens! I beseech Thee by them Who are the Day-Springs 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.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Prayers and Meditations, Selection CLXXXIII, “Long Obligatory Prayer”, p. 317)
1407.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’u’lláh: Prayers and Meditations, Selection CLXXXIII, “Long Obligatory Prayer”, p. 318)
1408.….the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection LXXV, p. 143)
[from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
1409. O Lord, my God! ….illumine my brow with the light of adoration in Thy court of holiness, and of prayer to Thy Kingdom of grandeur.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selection #237, p. 319)
1410.Know thou of a certainty that every house wherein the anthem of praise is raised to the Realm of Glory in celebration of the Name of God is indeed a heavenly home, and one of the gardens of delight in the Paradise of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: from a Tablet translated from Arabic, quoted in the compilation Family Life, Selection #25)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
1411.[‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered the following question, published in both The Divine Art of Living (p. 26 #1) and Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era. The question and answer appeared in The Divine Art of Living. In Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, only the answer appeared.]
 As to thy question, “Why pray? What is the wisdom thereof, for God has established everything and executes all affairs after the best order and He ordains everything according to a becoming measure and puts things in their places with the greatest of perfection—therefore what is the wisdom in beseeching and supplicating and in stating one’s wants and seeking help?”
 Know thou, verily, it is becoming in a weak one to supplicate to the Strong One, and it behooveth a seeker of bounty to beseech the Glorious Bountiful One. When one supplicates to his Lord, turns to Him and seeks bounty from His Ocean, this supplication brings light to his heart, illumination to his sight, life to his soul and exaltation to his being.
 During thy supplications to God and thy reciting, “Thy Name is my healing,” consider how thine heart is cheered, thy soul delighted by the spirit of the love of God, and thy mind attracted to the Kingdom of God! By these attractions one’s ability and capacity increase. When the vessel is enlarged the water increases, and when the thirst grows the bounty of the cloud becomes agreeable to the taste of man. This is the mystery of supplication and the wisdom of stating one’s wants.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in Esslemont: Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 93)
1412.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.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Bahá’í Prayers (US edition), “Detachment” section, p. 57)
1413.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.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Bahá’í Prayers (US edition), “Firmness in the Covenant” section, p. 70)
[from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
1414.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. 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.
 Besides all this, prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the compilation Bahá’í World Faith, p. 368)