Saturday, October 04, 2008

How much prayer is enough?

"Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
(Alexander Pope, "Know Thyself," 20thyself.htm)

Ask yourself: Am I Praying Enough?

When Abdu'l-Baha was in London, preparing to leave for Scotland, His secretary reported the following summary of His daily routine in a letter to a believer in New York.

"This morning when I entered in the Presence of Our Lord I found him indisposed. Last night, he said, he could not sleep he had fever, the climate not agreeing with Him. I was very sorry but he came out at about 9 o'clock the interviews started. Every evening at midnight or after midnight, Our Beloved gets up and for at least two hours he prays and communes with the Infinite and when He gets up in the morning, he again prays for more than an hour. Does not this teach us a lesson in prayer with God, Our Master who sustains us, provides for us and protects us?" (Abdu'l-Baha in Edinburgh - Sohrab's Diary Letters by Ahmad Sohrab Edited by David Merrick.

"Referring to the Tablet of Baha'u'llah which was revealed in Sulaymaniyyih and which began 'Create in me a pure heart, 0 my God, . . .', 'Abdu'l-Baha said: `When, for the first time, I read this Tablet, I wept openly.'" (Diya Baghdadi, unpublished memoir, cited in Stories of Baha'u'llah, Compiled and Edited by Ali-Akbar Furutan, tr. Katayoon and Robert Krerar, George Ronald, Oxford, 1986, #27, p. 20)

"Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquillity on me, O my Companion, and let the riches of Thine ancient countenance deliver me from all except Thee, O my Master, and let the tidings of the revelation of Thine incorruptible Essence bring me joy, O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden!" (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, CLV, p. 248)

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