When having a prayer book is a luxury

crystalcitystarYesterday provided several marvelous reasons to reflect on the power of prayer and the nearness of the spiritual world. First of all, I overslept and cut the prayer time short in order to get to work. Then I got a very touching letter from a friend who attended the Ruhi 1 study circle:

Dear Mitko,

This morning during my prayers and meditations, I was reciting that very long prayer for the Fast and something a little out of the ordinary occurred. I was prompted, at the deepest level, to repeat a part of the prayer, and entreat Baha’u’llah to accept it as though it were being recited by and coming from Mitko. This is the portion of the prayer which I said on your behalf,

“…..yet I beseech Thee by Thy name through which Thou has revealed Thy Self, in the glory of Thy most excellent titles, unto all created things, in this Revelation whereby Thou hast, through Thy most resplendent Name, manifested Thy beauty, to give me to drink of the wine of Thy mercy and of the pure beverage of Thy favor, which have streamed forth from the right hand of Thy will, so that I may fix my gaze upon Thee and be so detached from all else but Thee, that the world and all that have been created therein may appear before me as a fleeting day which Thou has not deigned to create. I moreover entreat Thee, O my God, to rain down, from the heaven of Thy will and clouds of Thy mercy, that which will cleanse us from the noisome savors of our transgressions, O Thou Who has called Thyself the God of Mercy! Thou art, verily, the Most Powerful, the All-Glorious, the Beneficent.”

The emphasis is mine, but that is where I so very strongly felt compelled to provide the emphasis.

I am just sharing Mitko, that is all, from one Baha’i human being to another Baha’i human being. Please understand, no response is required.

I just cannot help but wonder if it was a spiritual seed planted by Marion Jack that eventually and directly led to your recognition of Baha’u’llah. Well, I guess it is one of the multitude of mysteries I have questions about that I will have to wait until I arrive in the next world to seek answers!

May Baha’u’llah shower you with His blessings and may this Fast ennoble your soul to soar to such heights that you previously could not even consider much less imagine,

Barry

Wow! How do you respond to this? If that is not a spiritual connection between the souls, I don’t know what it is… The timing of that message was of course perfect since I was about to start my non-eating lunch break and I dedicated it to reading this same prayer for the Fast. To top this off, I have a wonderful coworker who is a Baha’i too, and we shared more prayers together. Talk about luxury!

Now speaking of luxury, another message that was shared with me put many things in their proper perspective. Those of you who have taken a Ruhi 1 study circle know that one of its service requirements is to share a prayer with another soul. I previously wrote about the inspiring experience I had when sharing a prayer with friends over the phone. The phone is of course nothing new to me since it was over the phone that I declared my belief in Baha’u’llah.

But let me stay focused. Here is the message I am referring to:

We have received a very touching letter from Mrs. Mahvash Sabet’s sister, who had visited the notorious Evin prison where all seven of the Friends are being held and awaiting trial. Please note that the visits are not in private. The letter is a testimony to their courage, certitude and steadfastness and the abiding unity that exists amongst His followers from all corners of the earth:

It’s Monday today and we have just been to Evin to visit Mahvash. We had the honour of seeing all the seven Friend […]. All seven on one side and us, the other… My father started to cry and Mahvash said: “ Darling father, I swear to God, we are fine, do not worry about us”… I asked Mahvash what they eat for food at dawn and she said: “ they give us tea and warm up what we save from the previous night for dinner. However, none of us know the prayer for Fast by heart, so please recite it on our behalf…Please ask the friends to pray for us – we feel the warmth of their prayers and convey our greetings and love to everyone”

Now that puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Fasting while in prison, with no prayer book on your side. And all you can count on are the prayers you have memorized (no doubt during children classes and Ruhi study circles); and of course on the prayers of other friends.

That is what provided the inspiration for the opening prayer of the Ruhi 2 study circle which commenced yesterday evening. It was a wonderful gathering with heartfelt reflections on what inspires us to teach and share the healing message of Baha’u’llah:

O wayfarer in the path of God! Take thou thy portion of the ocean of His grace, and deprive not thyself of the things that lie hidden in its depths. Be thou of them that have partaken of its treasures. A dewdrop out of this ocean would, if shed upon all that are in the heavens and on the earth, suffice to enrich them with the bounty of God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. With the hands of renunciation draw forth from its life-giving waters, and sprinkle therewith all created things, that they may be cleansed from all man-made limitations and may approach the mighty seat of God, this hallowed and resplendent Spot.

– Baha’u’llah

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