Long prayers

Long Obligatory Prayer

O Thou Who art the Lord of all names and the Maker of the heavens!  I beseech Thee by them Who are the Day-Springs of Thine invisible Essence, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, to make of my prayer a fire that will burn away the veils which have shut me out from Thy beauty, and a light that will lead me unto the ocean of Thy Presence.

O Thou the Desire of the world and the Beloved of the nations!  Thou seest me turning toward Thee, and rid of all attachment to any one save Thee, and clinging to Thy cord, through whose movement the whole creation hath been stirred up.  I am Thy servant, O my Lord, and the son of Thy servant.  Behold me standing ready to do Thy will and Thy desire, and wishing naught else except Thy good pleasure.  I implore Thee by the Ocean of Thy mercy and the Daystar of Thy grace to do with Thy servant as Thou willest and pleasest.  By Thy might which is far above all mention and praise!  Whatsoever is revealed by Thee is the desire of my heart and the beloved of my soul.  O God, my God!  Look not upon my hopes and my doings, nay rather look upon Thy will that hath encompassed the heavens and the earth.  By Thy Most Great Name, O Thou Lord of all nations!  I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love. 

Exalted art Thou above the description of any one save Thyself, and the comprehension of aught else except Thee.

Make my prayer, O my Lord, a fountain of living waters whereby I may live as long as Thy sovereignty endureth, and may make mention of Thee in every world of Thy worlds.

O Thou in separation from Whom hearts and souls have melted, and by the fire of Whose love the whole world hath been set aflame!  I implore Thee by Thy Name through which Thou hast subdued the whole creation, not to withhold from me that which is with Thee, O Thou Who rulest over all men!  Thou seest, O my Lord, this stranger hastening to his most exalted home beneath the canopy of Thy majesty and within the precincts of Thy mercy; and this transgressor seeking the ocean of Thy forgiveness; and this lowly one the court of Thy glory; and this poor creature the orient of Thy wealth.  Thine is the authority to command whatsoever Thou willest.  I bear witness that Thou art to be praised in Thy doings, and to be obeyed in Thy behests, and to remain unconstrained in Thy bidding.

Thou seest, O my God, how my spirit hath been stirred up within my limbs and members, in its longing to worship Thee, and in its yearning to remember Thee and extol Thee; how it testifieth to that whereunto the tongue of Thy Commandment hath testified in the kingdom of Thine utterance and the heaven of Thy knowledge.  I love in this state, O my Lord, to beg of Thee all that is with Thee, that I may demonstrate my poverty, and magnify Thy bounty and Thy riches, and may declare my powerlessness, and manifest Thy power and Thy might. 

There is no God but Thee, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.  There is no God but Thee, the Ordainer, both in the beginning and in the end.  O God, my God!  Thy forgiveness hath emboldened me, and Thy mercy hath strengthened me and Thy call hath awakened me, and Thy grace hath raised me up and led me unto Thee.  Who, otherwise, am I that I should dare to stand at the gate of the city of Thy nearness, or set my face toward the lights that are shining from the heaven of Thy will?  Thou seest, O my Lord, this wretched creature knocking at the door of Thy grace, and this evanescent soul seeking the river of everlasting life from the hands of Thy bounty.  Thine is the command at all times, O Thou Who art the Lord of all names; and mine is resignation and willing submission to Thy will, O Creator of the heavens! 

Greater is God than every great one!

Too high art Thou for the praise of those who are nigh unto Thee to ascend unto the heaven of Thy nearness, or for the birds of the hearts of them who are devoted to Thee to attain to the door of Thy gate.  I testify that Thou hast been sanctified above all attributes and holy above all names.  No God is there but Thee, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious. 

I testify unto that whereunto have testified all created things, and the Concourse on high, and the inmates of the all-highest Paradise, and beyond them the Tongue of Grandeur itself from the all-glorious Horizon, that Thou art God, that there is no God but Thee, and that He Who hath been manifested is the Hidden Mystery, the Treasured Symbol, through Whom the letters B and E (Be) have been joined and knit together.  I testify that it is He Whose name hath been set down by the Pen of the Most High, and Who hath been mentioned in the Books of God, the Lord of the Throne on high and of earth below. 

O Lord of all being and Possessor of all things visible and invisible!  Thou dost perceive my tears and the sighs I utter, and hearest my groaning, and my wailing, and the lamentation of my heart.  By Thy might!  My trespasses have kept me back from drawing nigh unto Thee; and my sins have held me far from the court of Thy holiness.  Thy love, O my Lord, hath enriched me, and separation from Thee hath destroyed me, and remoteness from Thee hath consumed me.  I entreat Thee by Thy footsteps in this wilderness, and by the words “Here am I. Here am I” which Thy chosen Ones have uttered in this immensity, and by the breaths of Thy Revelation, and the gentle winds of the Dawn of thy Manifestation, to ordain that I may gaze on Thy beauty and observe whatsoever is in Thy Book. 

Praise be to Thee, O my God, that Thou hast aided me to remember Thee and to praise Thee, and hast made known unto me Him Who is the Dayspring of Thy signs, and hast caused me to bow down before Thy Lordship, and humble myself before Thy Godhead, and to acknowledge that which hath been uttered by the Tongue of Thy grandeur. 

O God, my God!  My back is bowed by the burden of my sins, and my heedlessness hath destroyed me.  Whenever I ponder my evil doings and Thy benevolence, my heart melteth within me, and my blood boileth in my veins.  By Thy Beauty, O Thou the Desire of the world!  I blush to lift up my face to Thee, and my longing hands are ashamed to stretch forth toward the heaven of Thy bounty.  Thou seest, O my God, how my tears prevent me from remembering Thee and from extolling Thy virtues, O Thou the Lord of the Throne on high and of earth below!  I implore Thee by the signs of Thy Kingdom and the mysteries of Thy Dominion to do with Thy loved ones as becometh Thy bounty, O Lord of all being, and is worthy of Thy grace, O King of the seen and the unseen! 

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.  Protect us, we beseech Thee, O my Lord, from the hosts of idle fancies and vain imaginations.  Thou, in truth, art the Mighty, the All-Knowing. 

I testify, O my God, to that whereunto Thy chosen Ones have testified, and acknowledge that which the inmates of the all-highest Paradise and those who have circled round Thy mighty Throne have acknowledged.  The kingdoms of earth and heaven are Thine, O Lord of the worlds! 

Bahá’u’lláh

www.bahaiprayers.org

Prayers in pubic should be short and characterized by a natural tone of voice—The long prayers made by some ministers have been a great failure. Praying to great length, as some do, is all out of place. They injure the throat and vocal organs, and then they talk of breaking down by their hard labor. They injure themselves when it is not called for. Many feels that praying injures their vocal organs more than talking. This is in consequence of the unnatural position of the body, and the manner of holding the head. They can stand and talk, and not feel injured. The position in prayer should be perfectly natural. Long praying wearies, and is not in accordance with the gospel of Christ. Half or even quarter of an hour is altogether too long. A few minutes’ time is long enough to bring your case before God and tell Him what you want; and you can take the people with you and not weary them out and lessen their interest in devotions and prayers. They may be refreshed and strengthened, instead of exhausted.

Prayer need not be long or loud—Prayer is not understood as it should be. Our prayers are not to inform God of something He does not know. The Lord is acquainted with the secrets of every soul. Our prayers need not be long and loud. God reads the hidden thoughts. We may pray in secret, and He who sees in secret will hear, and will reward us openly.—(Messages to Young People, 247.) Pr 216.

A mistake has been made by many in their religious exercises in long praying and long preaching, upon a high key, with a forced voice, in an unnatural strain and an unnatural tone.—(Testimonies for the Church 2:617.) Food for thought.

www.adventistnaija.com

 Working on the classics column of our January issue of Prayer Connect, I read an interesting comment by Frank C. Laubach “If we pray for them (speaking of individuals for whom we pray) ten seconds several times each day we shall be more likely to secure results than if we prayed once for half an hour.”

While I can’t support it fully from Scripture, I have always suspected that is true. Somewhere in the past century, Christian disciplers who stressed having a morning quiet time (an important practice I am not against) left the impression that prayer must happen in a long block, usually first thing in the morning. Yet Scripture says, to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Now whatever that looks like, it does not look like a quiet time all day long.

When polled on their prayer lives, or lack thereof, by far the number one reason people say they do not pray is “busyness—too busy.” They are thinking that prayer means sitting down with a Bible and spending 15-30 minutes first thing in the morning. These people do not realize they can pray anytime, anywhere, for any length of time. They have been miss-discipled somehow.

In my own life, I find more of a flow spiritually when I have days where I am praying multiple times, rather than one main time. Shooting up short prayers in specific situations at work, asking God a question when I am in the car driving—then listening (without the radio on), breath prayers like, “Jesus, give me more hunger for you.” I also try to shoot intercessory prayers up throughout the day as a person comes to mind.

I am trying to develop my prayer life to me such that whenever I have a moment where I do not have to think about something, I could think about anything, my thoughts automatically go into God’s presence.

Teach people that prayer can be a significant part of their day if they would learn to pray short prayers all day long, and watch what happens to their spiritual lives. I think many would be revolutionized!

Jonathan Graf is the publisher of Prayer Connect and a popular speaker on prayer.

www.prayerleader.com

 Working on the classics column of our January issue of Prayer Connect, I read an interesting comment by Frank C. Laubach “If we pray for them (speaking of individuals for whom we pray) ten seconds several times each day we shall be more likely to secure results than if we prayed once for half an hour.”

While I can’t support it fully from Scripture, I have always suspected that is true. Somewhere in the past century, Christian disciplers who stressed having a morning quiet time (an important practice I am not against) left the impression that prayer must happen in a long block, usually first thing in the morning. Yet Scripture says, to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Now whatever that looks like, it does not look like a quiet time all day long.

When polled on their prayer lives, or lack thereof, by far the number one reason people say they do not pray is “busyness—too busy.” They are thinking that prayer means sitting down with a Bible and spending 15-30 minutes first thing in the morning. These people do not realize they can pray anytime, anywhere, for any length of time. They have been miss-discipled somehow.

In my own life, I find more of a flow spiritually when I have days where I am praying multiple times, rather than one main time. Shooting up short prayers in specific situations at work, asking God a question when I am in the car driving—then listening (without the radio on), breath prayers like, “Jesus, give me more hunger for you.” I also try to shoot intercessory prayers up throughout the day as a person comes to mind.

I am trying to develop my prayer life to me such that whenever I have a moment where I do not have to think about something, I could think about anything, my thoughts automatically go into God’s presence.

Teach people that prayer can be a significant part of their day if they would learn to pray short prayers all day long, and watch what happens to their spiritual lives. I think many would be revolutionized!

Jonathan Graf is the publisher of Prayer Connect and a popular speaker on prayer.

www.prayerleader.com

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