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.
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.