Prayer Station: Divine Commandments

Fire and Gold by Elika MahonyThese days I am practicing being peaceful in solitude. I am generally an extrovert and have for so long depended on the support of those around me, that it is a now challenge to be facing a war by myself — a war I never sought nor I ever envisioned but a war which is important nevertheless and which I strive to face with a peaceful heart; a war I would not be able to endure were it not for God, who alone can turn “abasement into glory, and weakness into strength, and powerlessness into might, and fear into calm, and doubt into certainty”.

Last night’s Prayer Station provided the perfect setting for meditation on the power and wisdom of God’s commandments — I was by myself — for the test of following the commandments is when you are on your own and nobody (but God) is looking. I followed the devotional program and started with the beautiful song “Neglect Not My Commandment” by Elika Mahony from her CD “Fire and Gold“:

39. O SON OF MAN!
Neglect not My commandments if thou lovest My beauty, and forget not My counsels if thou wouldst attain My good pleasure.
(Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

Then I read from a selection of Holy Writings on the topic of Divine Commandments:

Say: From My laws the sweet smelling savor of My garment can be smelled, and by their aid the standards of victory will be planted upon the highest peaks. The Tongue of My power hath, from the heaven of My omnipotent glory, addressed to My creation these words: “Observe My commandments, for the love of My beauty.” Happy is the lover that hath inhaled the divine fragrance of his Best-Beloved from these words, laden with the perfume of a grace which no tongue can describe. By My life! He who hath drunk the choice wine of fairness from the hands of My bountiful favor, will circle around My commandments that shine above the Day Spring of My creation.
(Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 332)

O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed  upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behavior. Valiant acts will ensure the triumph of this Cause, and a saintly character will reinforce its power. Cleave unto righteousness, O people of Baha! This, verily, is the commandment which this wronged One hath given unto you, and the first choice of His unrestrained Will for every one of you.
(Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 93)

Happy is the man who will arise to serve My Cause, and glorify My beauteous Name. Take hold of My Book with the power of My might, and cleave tenaciously to whatsoever commandment thy Lord, the Ordainer, the All-Wise, hath prescribed therein.
(Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 68)

Happy is the man who will arise to serve My Cause, and glorify My beauteous Name. Take hold of My Book with the power of My might, and cleave tenaciously to whatsoever commandment thy Lord, the Ordainer, the All-Wise, hath prescribed therein.
(Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 68)

He who meditates on him, and everywhere and always lives according to his (commandments), and who, full of devotion, sees him who is difficult to be seen and subtle, will rejoice in (his) heaven.
(Buddhism, The Dharma Sutras, Apastamba Prasna I, Patala  8, Khanda 22)

Verily We sent messengers before thee, among them those of whom We have told thee, and some of whom We have not told thee; and it was not given to any messenger that he should bring a portent save by Allah’s leave, but when Allah’s commandment cometh (the cause) is judged aright, and the followers of vanity will then be lost.
(Islam, The Holy Qur’an (Pickthall tr), Sura  40 – The Forgiving One)

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
(Christianity, King James Bible, Mark)

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
(Christianity, King James Bible, Revelation)

And God spoke all these words, saying: I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments.
(Judaism, Torah (Law), Shemos (Exodus))

If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall yield her produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

(Judaism, Torah (Law), Vayikra (Leviticus)

If, O ye mortals, ye mark those commandments which Mazda hath ordained — of happiness and pain, the long punishment for the follower of the Druj, and blessings for the followers of the Right — then hereafter shall it be well.

(Zoroastrianism, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasna)

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
(Christianity, King James Bible, 1 John)

The ordinances of God have been sent down from the heaven of His most august Revelation. All must diligently observe them. Man’s supreme distinction, his real advancement, his final victory, have always depended, and will continue to depend, upon them. Whoso keepeth the commandments of God shall attain everlasting felicity.
(Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 289)

One Step Away by Ali YoussefiThen another song followed, this time it was “Statutes” by Ali Youssefi‘s first CD “One Step Away” (speaking of Ali, his new CD “The Flight” is out but I will write more about it at a later time):

38. O SON OF BEING!
Walk in My statutes for love of Me and deny thyself that which thou desirest if thou seekest My pleasure.
(Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

Now was time for prayers: I prayed for guidance, for protection, for healing, for my beautiful daughters, for those I love and for those I struggle to love. And then another song, “Attract the Hearts of Men” from TaliaSafa‘s CD whose lyrics come from the powerful quote:

Attract the hearts of men, through the call of Him, the one alone Beloved. Say: This is the Voice of God, if ye do but hearken. This is the Day Spring of the Revelation of God, did ye but know it. This is the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God, were ye to recognize it. This is the Source of the commandment of God, did ye but judge it fairly. This is the manifest and hidden Secret; would that ye might perceive it. O peoples of the world! Cast away, in My name that transcendeth all other names, the things ye possess, and immerse yourselves in this Ocean in whose depths lay hidden the pearls of wisdom and of utterance, an ocean that surgeth in My name, the All-Merciful. Thus instructeth you He with Whom is the Mother Book.
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 33)

One Response to “Prayer Station: Divine Commandments

  • Thank you so much for mentioning the song ‘Neglect Not My Commandments’ on your blog. It is one of my favorites from the ‘Fire and Gold’ CD. Glad you enjoyed it.

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