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Prayer and Devotional Gatherings

Introduction

Devotional gatherings are an important part of the communal worship of God by the Bahá’í community. Programmes are based around a selection of prayers and readings from the Bahá’í Writings (and sometimes from the Writings of other religions), accompanied by uplifting music. In the absence of rituals, each gathering is unique, and various forms of art are often employed to create a spiritual atmosphere conducive to connection with the Divine. The Word of God provides inspiration, rejuvenates souls, gladdens the hearts, and renews one’s sense of purpose.

Bahá’í communities hold devotional gatherings on a regular basis across the Perth metropolitan area. They are held in a variety of settings, from halls to homes to outdoor settings.

People attending are welcome to simply sit, meditate and enjoy the spiritual atmosphere or participate by reciting some of the readings or prayers.

Prayer and Meditation

There is nothing sweeter in the world of existence than prayer… Prayer is conversation with God
Bahá’í Writings, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The Bahá’í Writings emphasise the importance of prayer as a source of nourishment for the soul, just as food is a source of nourishment for our bodies. The impulse to pray is seen as a natural one, stemming from man’s love for his Creator. When praying, Bahá’ís use the words of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, His Successor ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His forerunner the Báb, as the Word of God has the most profound spiritual effect.

In the highest prayer, men pray only for the love of God, not because they fear Him or hell, or hope for bounty or heaven... The spiritual man finds no delight in anything save in commemoration of God
Bahá’í Writings, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

‘Abdu’l-Bahá says that “Man must live in a state of prayer. The most blessed condition is the condition of prayer and supplication.” This does not mean that it is right or preferable to live in devotional austerity. It rather emphasises the need to carry the attitudes of prayer – faith and dependence upon God, detachment from the material world and purity from ego – into our daily lives.

...through meditation he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit - the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation... The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation... Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food
Bahá’í Writings, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Meditation is regarded as a process complementary to prayer which must necessarily accompany it. It is the essential part of the conversation with God where we may “listen” and reflect on the “reply” which our souls receive. We can then ponder on how to apply this to our daily actions and words.

Contacts

Bahá’í Centre of Learning
9330 6999
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