When you pray, are you distracted, doubtful, or dispirited? If you answered yes, then you are likely not receiving the results that you desire.
Of course, only God knows what is best for us and we need to pray for our will to align with God’s will. However, the Baha’i writings offer guidance about how to make our prayers more effective.
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Ruth Moffett, the late Baha’i author who studied world religions and wrote extensively about prayer after meeting Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, identified the following three rules that we should always remember when we pray.
Prayer Rule 1: Pray With Focus, Sincerity, and Passion
Before we pray, we should clear our mind of every thought that is not good or godly, so we can focus on the word of God when we pray.
Baha’is believe that the prayers that were revealed by the Manifestations of God, or prophets, are the most powerful. The central figures of the Baha’i Faith revealed thousands of prayers for every need, including but not limited to, aid and assistance, forgiveness, healing, and protection. Abdu’l-Baha, one of the central figures of the Baha’i Faith, said:
The highest and most elevating state is the state of prayer. Prayer is communion with God. … Its efficacy is conditional upon the freedom of the heart from extraneous suggestions and mundane thoughts. The worshipper must pray with a detached spirit, unconditional surrender of the will, concentrated attention and a magnetic spiritual passion.
And Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, wrote:
Prefer not your will to Mine, never desire that which I have not desired for you, and approach Me not with lifeless hearts, defiled with worldly desires and cravings.
We should be joyful, radiant, and excited to commune with the creator of the cosmos. In her book, “Do’a: The Call to Prayer,” Ruth wrote, “The concreteness and intensity of your thought determine the promptness of the response. Therefore make your thoughts clear cut, sincere and intense and you are assured of a speedy answer.”
Even modern-day lecturers and neuroscientists, such as Dr. Joe Dispenza, are now speaking about the importance of having a clear intention and an elevated emotion to achieve whatever you want in life, which the Baha’i writings elaborated on in the 1800s and the 1900s.
Prayer Rule 2: More Faith Brings Greater Results
Our level of faith determines what results we will witness from our prayers. The following quote from Abdu’l-Baha is my favorite quote about the power of faith:
And now I give you a commandment that shall be for a covenant between you and me – that ye have faith; that your faith be steadfast as a rock that no earthly storms can move, that nothing can disturb, and that it endure through all things even to the end … As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be.
The stronger our faith becomes, the more powers and blessings we will receive. Ruth explained, “A little faith brings little results. More faith brings larger results. Great faith brings great results even to the extent of removing mountains of obstacles.”
Prayer Rule 3: Pray to God Every Morning and Evening
The Baha’i writings ask us to recite the verses of God every morning and evening. Abdu’l-Baha wrote:
Prayer verily bestoweth life, particularly when offered in private and at times, such as midnight, when freed from daily cares.
Baha’is are also encouraged to remember and commune with God at dawn. Ruth wrote, “It is at that hour when the great forces of nature are sweeping through you and that part of the world where the sun is beginning to shine.” The following prayer that Baha’u’llah revealed is one of my favorite Baha’i prayers to recite each morning:
I have wakened in Thy shelter, O my God, and it becometh him that seeketh that shelter to abide within the Sanctuary of Thy protection and the Stronghold of Thy defense. Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, with the splendors of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation, even as Thou didst illumine my outer being with the morning light of Thy favor.
May this guidance help you all receive divine confirmations as you continuously turn towards the spiritual world and pray with focus, faith, and fervor every morning and evening.