Remembrance of God is like the rain and dew which bestow freshness and grace on
flowers and hyacinths, revive them and cause them to acquire fragrance, redolence and renewed charm. “And thou hast seen the earth dried up and barren: but when We send down the rain upon it, it stirreth and swelleth, and groweth every kind of luxuriant herb.”
Strive thou, then, to praise and glorify God by night and by day, that thou mayest attain infinite freshness and beauty.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet—translated from the Persian)
It behoveth the servant to pray to and seek assistance from God, and to supplicate and
“The true worshipper, while praying, should endeavour not so much to ask God to fulfil his wishes and desires, but rather to adjust these and make them conform to the Divine Will. Only through such an attitude can one derive that feeling of inner peace and contentment which the power of prayer alone can confer.”
The powers latent in prayer are manifested when it is motivated by the love of God, beyond any fear or favour, and free from ostentation and superstition. It is to be expressed with a sincere and pure heart conducive to contemplation and meditation so that the rational faculty can be illumined by its effects. Such prayer will transcend the limitation of words and go well beyond mere sounds. The sweetness of its melodies must gladden and uplift the heart and reinforce the penetrating power of the Word, transmuting earthly inclinations into heavenly attributes and inspiring selfless service to humankind. The Universal House of Justice
Praying for the sick
Based on Baha’i teachings: “The point of our existence on this planet isn’t simply a longer life. The point of our existence is to know God, to worship God, to serve God[A1] .”
The Baha’i writings include the following: “Worship thou God in such wise that if thy worship lead thee to the fire, no alteration in thine adoration would be produced, and so likewise if thy recompense should be paradise.”
Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith who is considered by His followers to be a Messenger of God, instructs people to resort to “competent physicians” in times of sickness, but He also reveals prayers containing supplications for healing.
Some of the prayers for healing were described in the following way by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the son of Baha’u’llah and appointed interpreter of His teachings: “The prayers which were revealed to ask for healing apply both to physical and spiritual healing. Recite them, then, to heal both the soul and the body. If healing is right for the patient, it will certainly be granted; but for some ailing persons, healing would only be the cause of other ills, and therefore wisdom doth not permit an affirmative answer to the prayer.”
This quotation is from ‘Abdu’l-Baha: “Ask whatsoever thou wishest of Him alone…. With a look He granteth a hundred thousand hopes, with a glance He healeth a hundred thousand incurable ills, with a nod He layeth balm on every wound.”
‘Abdu’l-Baha talks specifically about prayer and healing: “Disease is of two kinds: material and spiritual. Take for instance, a cut hand; if you pray for the cut to be healed and do not stop its bleeding, you will not do much good; a material remedy is needed.”
And more: “Illness caused by physical accident should be treated with medical remedies; those which are due to spiritual causes disappear through spiritual means…. Both kinds of remedies should be considered. Moreover, they are not contradictory, and thou shouldst accept the physical remedies as coming from the mercy and favor of God, who hath revealed and made manifest medical science so that His servants may profit from this kind of treatment also. Thou shouldst give equal attention to spiritual treatments, for they produce marvelous effects.”
Abdu’l-Baha describes specifically how a prayer for the sick might work:
“(Spiritual healing) results from the entire concentration of the mind of a strong person upon a sick person, when the latter expects with all his concentrated faith that a cure will be effected from the spiritual power of the strong person, to such an extent that there will be a cordial connection between the strong person and the invalid. The strong person makes every effort to cure the sick patient, and the sick patient is then sure of receiving a cure….
“But all this has effect only to a certain extent, and that not always. For if someone is afflicted with a very violent disease, or is wounded, these means will not remove the disease nor close and heal the wound.”
Thou hast asked about material means and prayer. Prayer is like the spirit and material means are like the human hand. The spirit operateth through the instrumentality of the hand. Although the one true God is the All-Provider, it is the earth which is the means to supply sustenance. “The heaven hath sustenance for you” but when sustenance is decreed it becometh available, whatever the means may be. When man refuseth to use material means, he is like a thirsty one who seeketh to quench his thirst through means other than water or other liquids. The Almighty Lord is the provider of water, and its maker, and hath decreed that it be used to quench man’s thirst, but its use is dependent upon His Will. If it should not be in conformity with His Will, man is afflicted with a thirst which the oceans cannot quench.
(From a Tablet—translated from the Persian)
The most acceptable prayer is the one offered with the utmost spirituality and radiance; its prolongation hath not been and is not beloved by God. The more detached and the purer the prayer, the more acceptable is it in the presence of God.
(“Selections from the Writings of the Báb”, pp. 77–78)
Let us offer these prayers for our nation in these difficult time of Covid Virus.
“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.” Baha’u’llah
Lord! Pitiful are we, grant us Thy favor; poor, bestow upon us a share from the ocean of Thy wealth; needy, do Thou satisfy us; abased, give us Thy glory. The fowls of the air and the beasts of the field receive their meat each day from Thee, and all beings partake of Thy care and loving-kindness.
Bahá’ís of Botswana
Bahá’í communities are working together with their neighbours and friends to promote and contribute to the well-being and progress of society. In urban centres and rural villages, in homes and schools, citizens of all backgrounds, classes and ages are participating in a dynamic pattern of life, taking part in activities which are, at once, spiritual, social and educational.