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The Bahá'ís Magazine

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bullet.gif (837 bytes) The Bahá'ís
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Unity in Diversity
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Bahá'u'lláh
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Social and Moral
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Spiritual Beliefs of
the Bahá'í Faith
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A System for
Global Governance
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A Century of
Growth and
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) New Approaches
to Old Problems
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Towards the New
World Order

Prayer and Meditation

For Bahá'ís, the purpose of life is to know and love God, and to progress spiritually. As in most other religions, prayer and meditation are primary tools for spiritual development.

Bahá'u'lláh Himself wrote hundreds of prayers. There are prayers for general use, for healing, for spiritual growth, for facing difficulties, for marriage, for community life, and for humanity itself.

Bahá'u'lláh also asked His followers to choose one of three "obligatory" prayers for recitation each day. The shortest of these prayers is just three sentences long. It says much about the relationship between God and humanity. It reads:

I bear witness, O my God, that Thou has created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

The term "obligatory," as applied to these prayers, implies for Bahá'ís an understanding that humans have certain spiritual duties before God. Bahá'u'lláh also urged His followers to spend time each day in meditation. Specifically, He encouraged us to reflect at the end of each day on our deeds and their worth. Other than this, Bahá'u'lláh did not specify a particular format for meditation--such as sitting cross-legged or using special breathing techniques. Instead, each individual is free to choose his or her own form of meditation.

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"Excerpted from The Bahá'ís, a publication of the Bahá'í International Community."

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