God Sufficeth This Hollow Reed

I love discovering the broader context of prayers and writings that I find nurturing. Today’s message from the Baha’i Readings email list brought me a prayer I have always love — one of the most favorite prayers my older daughter sings. It is fascinating to read the whole passage from “Selections From the Writings of the Bab” (p. 123):

Rid thou thyself of all attachments to aught except God, enrich thyself in God by dispensing with all else besides Him, and recite this

Say: God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth or in whatever lieth between them but God, thy Lord, sufficeth. Verily, He is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.

Regard not the all-sufficing power of God as an idle fancy. It is that genuine faith which thou cherishest for the Manifestation of God in every Dispensation. It is such faith which sufficeth above all the things that exist on the earth, whereas no created thing on earth besides faith would suffice thee. If thou art not a believer, the Tree of divine Truth would condemn thee to extinction. If thou art a believer, thy faith shall be sufficient for thee above all things that exist on earth, even though thou possess nothing.

Badasht - Vol I - While The City SleepsAnother interesting discovery was offered through a song, sang by Eric Dozier and JB Eckl, which today my wife and I played in the car on the way to the Baha’i School — “Hollow Reed”, based on a prayer which I had always assumed to be by Abdu’l-Baha:

Oh, God, make me a hollow reed, from which the pith of self hath been blown so that I may become as a clear channel through which Thy Love may flow to others. I have left behind me impatience and discontent. I will chafe no more at my lot. I commit myself wholly into thy hands, for thou are my Guide in the desert, the Teacher of my ignorance, the Physician of my sickness. I am a soldier in my King’s army. I have given up my will to Him and my life to dispose of as He may please. I know not what fate Thou deignest for me, nor will inquire or seek to know. The task of the day suffices for me, and all the future is Thine. Thou changest weakness to strength, doubt to faith, perplexity to understanding. When I am fit to bear the burden, Thou wilt lay it on my shoulders. When I am prepared to take the field, Thou wilt assign me a place in the Army of Light. Now I have no other duty than to equip myself for Thy Service. With eagerness and patience, with hope and gratitude, I bend to the task of the hour, lest when Thy call comes I be found unready.

As it turns out, the prayer is neither by Abdu’l-Baha nor by the Hand of the Cause of God George Townshend — the album notes of the CD from which the song comes, Badasht, Vol I – While The City Sleeps — indicate clearly that the lyrics to this song are from unknown source. A letter from the Universal House of Justice clarifies this further. Whoever the unknown author, though, praise and gratitude are owed for this inspired song which couldn’t have come to us at a better time.

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