Prayer Station – part 1

The time came to implement the idea of hosting a Prayer Station. Baher and I had sent invitation to the participant of the Ruhi 1 study circle on “Life of the Spirit”. I also wrote invitation cards and put them on the door of each of my floor neighbors. Nobody of the neighbors came but three other souls came — Baher, Steve and a friend of his.

The program was pretty much a rip off of the wonderful prayer meeting friends of mine have been hosting in Falls Church. We started with listening to a beautiful poetry and song performance by Tara Ellis and Ruth Forman, “Prayers Like Shoes” from Tara’s “Best of Devotions“.

Then we read a selections of writings from different religions somewhat focused on the power of prayer:

And now, I pray Thee, let the power of the LORD be great, according as Thou hast spoken, saying: The LORD is slow to anger, and plenteous in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.
(Judaism, Torah, Numbers)

Hear, Lord, my prayer; let not my soul faint under Thy discipline, nor let me faint in confessing unto Thee all Thy mercies, whereby Thou hast drawn me out of all my most evil ways, that Thou mightest become a delight to me above all the allurements which I once pursued; that I may most entirely love Thee, and clasp Thy hand with all my affections, and Thou mayest yet rescue me from every temptation, even unto the end.
(Christianity, Confessions of St Augustine, Book  1)

And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: and whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah; for Allah sees well all that ye do.
(Islam, The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah   2)

And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.
(LDS, The Book of Mormon)

If thou be a man of communion and prayer, soar up on the wings of assistance from Holy Souls, that thou mayest behold the mysteries of the Friend and attain to the lights of the Beloved, “Verily, we are from God and to Him shall we return.” [1] [1 Qur’án 2:151.] (Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 17)

O God, Who art the Author of all Manifestations, the Source of all Sources, the Fountain-Head of all Revelations, and the Well-Spring of all Lights! I testify that by Thy Name the heaven of understanding hath been adorned, and the ocean of utterance hath surged, and the dispensations of Thy providence have been promulgated unto the followers of all religions.

I beseech Thee so to enrich me as to dispense with all save Thee, and be made independent of any one except Thyself. Rain down, then, upon me out of the clouds of Thy bounty that which shall profit me in every world of Thy worlds. Assist me, then, through Thy strengthening grace, so to serve Thy Cause amidst Thy servants that I may show forth what will cause me to be remembered as long as Thine own kingdom endureth and Thy dominion will last.

This is Thy servant, O my Lord, who with his whole being hath turned unto the horizon of Thy bounty, and the ocean of Thy grace, and the heaven of Thy gifts. Do with me then as becometh Thy majesty, and Thy glory, and Thy bounteousness, and Thy grace.

Thou, in truth, art the God of strength and power, Who art meet to answer them that pray Thee. There is no God save Thee, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
(Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 59)

TaliaSafaThen each of us offered prayers: for nearness to God, forgiveness, steadfastness, unity, peace and prosperity for all humanity, and closed with listening of another beautiful song, “Let All Associate”, by New Creation / TaliaSafa:

Let all associate, therefore, in this great human garden even as flowers grow and blend together side by side without discord or disagreement between them.
(Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 69)

Then we moved from the spiritual back to the physical — sharing banitza (Bulgarian homemade spanakopita), cake and tea. Best of all was of course the fellowship with three wonderful souls. I look forward to next Thursday, and the next Prayer Station!

2 Responses to “Prayer Station – part 1

  • Nice idea. Keep it up.

  • Very nice. Other religions have this great liturgical beauty that we lack. Our avoidance of empty ritual should not force us to avoid the beauty of ceremony and communion with God though each other.

    God Bless,
    Gerald

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