Prayer and Devotional Gatherings
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
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.
‘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.
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.
ContactsBahá’í Centre of Learning