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What does a “devotional attitude” mean and what kind of implications does it have in ones practical day-to-day life? What aspects does “devotional attitude” touch upon? Devotional has a facet of meanings such as love and loyalty for a person or a cause, worship or observance and prayer. It seems that all these meanings somehow focus on a focal point, a centre of attention, which is revered and obeyed. Attitude, on the other hand, means “settled way of thinking or feeling about something”. Combining these two definitions, it seems that devotional attitude in the context of a Bahá’í life, would imply incorporating love, loyalty, worship and observance as the way or the mode of operation in our patterns of thinking and feelings about Bahaullah as expressed in our behaviour as we translate that which has been written into reality. Read the rest of this entry »
I came across a webpage that has collected many Bahai stories and categorized them under different headings such as courage, trust, generosity etc. It is an impressing collection of stories (www.bahaistories.com). Here is a story about trust in God.
One day a woman came to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with her sorrows. As she told her story, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tried to calm her and said, “Don’t be sad now, don’t be sad.” The Woman said, “My brother has been in prison for three years. He should not have been imprisoned because it was not his fault. He was weak and followed others. He will be in prison for four more years. My mother and father are full of sorrow all the time. My brother in law used to take care of us, but he has just died.” The Master could see the whole human story.
Here was a family which was experiencing every form of misery-they were poor, they were weak, they were sad, disgraced, and without any hope whatsoever. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “You must trust in God.”
“But,” the woman cried, “the more I trust, the worse things become!”
“You have never trusted,” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
“But my mother is reading the Bible all of the time,” she said. “She does not deserve that God should leave her so helpless! I read the Bible myself; I say the 91st Psalm and the 23rd Psalm every night before I go to bed. I pray too.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá looked at her lovingly and said, “To pray is not to read the Bible. To pray is to trust in God and accept His Will. You must be patient and accept the Will of God, then things will change for you. Put your family in God’s hands. Trust in God and love His Will. Strong ships are not conquered by the sea; they ride the waves! Now be a strong ship, not a battered one.”
(Gloria Faizi, Stories About ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
We can read in the Writings that prayers are like conversations with God. Conversation is something one can work at and become better at. So the question is, can one become better at praying? Can one improve ones “conversation” with God? Is prayer a “skill” that one can become better at? I would like to think so. Here is a compilation on prayer from the Bahai Writings I put together that hopefully can be of use. The topics in this compilation are;
- Prayer as conversation
- Nearness to God
- Our mindset when praying
- Whom to pray to
- Effects of prayer
Here is the compilation. Compilation on Prayer