Prayer . . .

A brief exploration of prayer from a few of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions:

“Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. Pray ye for all; ask ye that all be blessed, all be forgiven.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 73

“Then said I, Abraham prayed first for the Sodomites, and
Moses for the fathers that sinned in the wilderness…”

Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Esdras 2 (Ezra 4)

“The bird of God, who at the portal sits?
Behoves so long that Heaven first bear me round
Without its limits, as in life it bore;
Because I, to the end, repentant sighs
Delay’d; if prayer do not aid me first,
That riseth up from heart which lives in grace.
What other kind avails, not heard in Heaven?”

Divine Comedy of Dante (Henry Cary tr), Purgatory Canto  4

“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”

King James Bible, Acts 8:22

“It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.”

LDS (Mormon), The Pearl of Great Price

“She can hardly conceive of a person in full spiritual health whose life is not one of prayer.”

St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel

“An offering, consisting of muttered prayers, is ten times more efficacious than a sacrifice performed according to the rules (of the Veda); a (prayer) which is inaudible (to others) surpasses it a hundred times, and the mental (recitation of sacred texts) a thousand times.”

Hindu, Laws of Manu – 85

“O ye who believe! seek help with patience and with prayer, for God is with the patient.”

The Qur’an (Rodwell tr), Sura   2 – The Cow

“LORD, in trouble have they sought Thee, silently they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been at Thy presence, O LORD.”

Nev’im (Prophets), Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 26,16-17

“Now, being equipped with this lofty Morality, equipped with this noble Control of the Senses, and filled with this noble Attentiveness and Clear Consciousness, he chooses a secluded dwelling in the forest, at the foot of a tree, on a mountain, in a cleft, in a rock cave, on a burial ground, on a woody table-land, in the open air, or on a heap of straw. Having returned from his alms-round, after the meal, he sits himself down with legs crossed, body erect, with attentiveness fixed before him.”

The Eightfold Path, Buddha,  the Word

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