How do we reach God?

Adam L pointed out this article to me about an art piece called a “Prayer Antenna” by Paul Davies. This started me thinking about why people of all faiths (or of no faith in particular) pray.

Wikipedia has a good article on definitions of prayer, and how people practice in different religions. One of the questions asked is: “If God is all-knowing, then doesn’t God already know what we are going to ask for before we pray?” Another is: “Do human beings actually have the ability to praise an omniscient and omnipotent God?”

Abdu’l-Baha, the Son of Baha’u’llah, who Baha’is believe is the most recent Manifestation of God, says this about why we need to pray:

“O thou spiritual friend! Thou hast asked the wisdom of prayer. Know thou that prayer is indispensable and obligatory, and man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from performing the prayer unless he be mentally unsound, or an insurmountable obstacle prevent him. The wisdom of prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because in that state ( i.e., prayer) man with all heart and soul turneth his face towards His Highness the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and compassion. The greatest happiness for a lover is to converse with his beloved, and the greatest gift for a seeker is to become familiar with the object of his longing; that is why with every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God, his greatest hope is to find an opportunity to entreat and supplicate before his Beloved, appeal for His mercy and grace and be immersed in the ocean of His utterance, goodness and generosity. Beside all this, prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests.”


(Baha’i prayer beads)
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On a completely silly note, when I was enlisting Paul’s help to provide the picture for this entry, he made this statement:“Prayer beads are for Baha’is what light sabers are for Jedi Knights. Each must construct his own.”

I nearly fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard. (Paul is this site’s webmaster and a dear spiritual brother.)

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2 Comments

  1. Once upon a time I had a college professor who made an analogy in a Marketing Class I was taking…

    When a student asked him “Can you ever really be entirely certain if your marketing efforts are increasing your sales?”

    He replied… “Well, its like prayer… your never really entirely certain if its working or not…but you figure it can’t hurt.” hehe

    Personally, I find the Long Obligatory Prayer is a CRAZY POWERFUL AMAZING response to the second question in your post. When we read the prayer, a good portion of it is actually us praising God for blessing us by giving us the ability to praise Him, like this little bit here:

    “Praise be unto Thee, O our God, that Thou has sent down unto us that which draweth us nigh unto Thee, and supplieth us with every good thing sent down by Thee in thy Books and thy Scriptures.”

    Life is good. 🙂