New Day for the Prayer Station

Soup for the Prayer StationTwo former Marines (one Russian speaking native of the U.S., the other half-Cuban / half-Haitian father of a future Miss Florida) walk into a Prayer Station, and join four singers (one soprano, one counter-tenor, one dramatic bariton, and one as young as the square root of the sum of the ages of the previous three but on her way to Broadway stardom) around the table, sharing food — physical and spiritual — and you have an uplifting evening of fellowship and praise.

Physical Food at the Prayer Station

  • Banitsa for the Prayer StationSimple soup made with abundance of love and no recipe: just soak the black-eyed peas overnight, then boil for as long as it gets to make them soft, then add sautéed onion and carrots, dried mushrooms soaked in boiling water, chopped spinach and parsley, salt, spices, and, you guessed it… extra helping of love!
  • Banitsa — philo dough baked pastry filled with feta cheese, eggs, spinach, yogurt, and yep, with generous helping of fellowship.
  • Banana bread with dried fruits, walnuts, flax seeds, and plentiful sprinkling of friendship.

Spiritual Food at the Prayer Station

Eric Dozier’s “The Wilderness” based on Prophet Isaiah’s vision:

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing… They shall see the glory of the Lord

“All Things Are of God” by “A Family Affair” based on the exhortations by Bahá’u’lláh and Abdu’l-Baha:

So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.
Say, all things are of God (4)
The first remedy of all is to guide the people aright, so that they will turn themselves unto God.
Say, all things are of God (4)
The source of all learning is the knowledge of God, exalted be His Glory, and this cannot be attained save through the knowledge of His Divine Manifestation.
Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.
Say, all things are of God (4)

We shared many prayers, some by reading, some by chanting and singing, like this beautiful rendition of “The Healing Prayer” which Roya Bauman sang on behalf of my friend Elise and her cousin Zack:

Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy.  Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion.  Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come.  Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
Bahá’u’lláh

The Origin and Purpose of the Prayer Station

Some 5 years ago as I was playing in the park with my little girls, Sofia, the older one, then around 4 year old, announced while crawling into  a plastic jungle gym tunnel “Daddy, this is a Prayer Station”. When I asked her what a Prayer Station is, she explained that it was a place where you say prayers. There and then I promised myself that when I have an opportunity to host a devotional gathering, I would call it Prayer Station. Over the years, it became obvious that this name was more than appropriate for such a gathering aimed at creating a sense of community though spiritual recharging.

My friend Jack Gordon prepared a brief video about the Musical Prayer Station, which next Sunday will host the talented Shameem from Australia! I hope you join us!

Mitko’s Prayer Station from Bahai.us on Vimeo.

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