Prayer Station – Open The Gate
How do you describe a day which started with an inconclusive attempt to scientifically establish truthfulness, culminated with celebrating the Birth of the Bab, and concluded with a prayer meeting and a study circle discussion which revolved around the idea that “truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues”? God is all Glorious and His ways are truly mysterious…
The most touching moments were, of course, with my daughters — when they joined me in singing “Say: God sufficeth” at the Falls Church celebration of the Birth of the Bab. The most humbling moments were when listening to a beautiful song by Smith & Dragoman, “The messenger“:
At the break of dawn after centuries of night
A child is born a child of light
Into a world of shadows and pain
Injustice rules and darkness reigns
How unique the child His knowledge innate
No teacher could teach this child of fate
And there in a dream in an ocean disturbed
His long locks reached out and His message was heard
For a thousand years we invoke Your name
And when You appear You’re bound in chains
Oh why, why are we so afraid of change
And I won’t forget how unkind they were to You
I won’t forget how You suffered
I won’t forget your message of love
I won’t forget I won’t forget
You receive the word Your purpose is clear
To share with the world with those who would hear
You take their hands and You heal their pain
You comfort their hearts with nothing to gain
The plight of the world weighs down on Your back
You share Your message and they launch their attack
They cast You out and don’t recognize
Your book is wide open and there’s tears in Your eyes
The most inspiring moments were when reading the writings of the Bab and studying the Ruhi 1 section on truthfulness with a group of believers, one of whom had just declared this past Saturday, having attended the previous Prayer Station and having joined our study circle.
Since the devotional gathering was inspired by the Birth of the Bab (which means Gate in Arabic), the theme was “Open the Gate”, named not only after the Smith & Dragoman CD, but also by the idea of opening the gate to the truth of God for the multitudes of humanity. And since the previous Prayer Meeting resulted in a study circle, we tried to combine both — a prayer meeting and a Ruhi 1 study circle. This time three new people showed up and we all had a wonderful discussion. In the interest of time and to truly focus on the study of the Holy Writings, we decided to shift the devotional meetings to once a month and will dedicate the rest of the Mondays to the study circle.
I am also thinking of asking each of the participants in the study circle to organize one of the devotional gatherings, thus practicing the service element of the Ruhi 1 study circle even before it is completed (as recently suggested during a tutor encounter).
Tonight, we closed the prayer meeting with the version of “Say God Sufficeth” which Eric Dozier and JB Eckl so beautifully put together on their “Badasht” CD:
Say: God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth. Verily, He is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.
— The Báb
I feel I can never have enough reminders that God should be sufficient unto me… Moreover, God has been blessing me lately with reminders, both positive and negative, of where the true path for me lies. I am learning to accept that the pain of detachment is a necessary part of growth. I am more and more realizing that it is so difficult, perhaps impossible, to remedy the pain and mess of the past. But it is very humbling to realize, with gratitude, that in each present moment I still have a chance to do the right thing. And doing the right thing, for me, includes the praise of God, and His Messengers.
May God open up the gate of each heart and touch each one of you with His Truth:
I ask God that He may open the gate of the knowledge of this station to thine heart so that thou mayest apprehend whatever is necessary and proper, garner spiritual bounties from the heaven of the All-Merciful, obtain the effulgences of knowledge from the Sun of Reality, and become a manifestation of inspiration from the Unseen and a source of glad-tidings from the All-Merciful.
(Baha’u’llah, Compilations, The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting)