In the compilation of prayers by Baha’u’llah called Supplications is a post-Naw Ruz and pre-Ridvan prayer. It is meant to be read during the month between Naw Ruz and Ridvan. Supplications is a collection of 200 prayers translated by Joshua Hall. Because it is not well known, the prayer is not well known either, so I thought I’d write a brief word about it here. The following is the paragraph from the prayer that mentions this interval between the two festivals.
“The days in which Thou hast obliged Thy servants to observe the Fast have ended, O Lord, and the days of Riḍván, which Thou hast made to be a festival unto the people of Thy lands, have drawn nigh. I implore Thee, O Thou Who art my Desire and the Desire of all them that have drawn nigh unto Thee, Who art my Beloved and the Beloved of all them that are wholly devoted unto Thee, to open wide the portals of Thy goodly bestowals before the eyes of Thy servants. Thou art verily the Revelator of the verses and the King of the heavens and earth.”Supplications by Baha’u’llah no 200, translated by Joshua Hall
During the fast, I would spend my morning prayer session watching devotional videos on YouTube, which is my mashriqu’l-adhkar. This had a tremendous deepening influence on me. I find that when the sacred writings are put to music, I hear the hidden message more easily because the meaning is slowed down and emphasised. What I noticed is that many readings had one central message: whatever you want, ask God for it. Turn only to God and away from everything else. God will provide and you will enter the realm of everlasting happiness.
With these clear instructions in mind, I settled down to my work completing my book and tried to empty myself of all the issues that consume me on a daily basis, but which I no longer need to concern myself with because if I turn to God, God will ultimately sort them out. It has been a boon! So much nonsense that usually rolls around in my head and that gives me grief – I have just been shrugging it off, like water off a duck’s back. With all that self-imposed burden gone, and knowing that whatever comes I can just ask God for what I need, life has indeed made a turn for the better.
This prayer for the month between Naw Ruz and Ridvan is no exception – it includes verses that carry the same guidance. Here, the reader confesses to their powerless to effect any changes in life, and applies to Baha’u’llah to help with the things that need fixing.
“O Lord, Thou seest me clinging to the hem of Thy bountiful favor and holding fast the cord of Thy generosity. I am he, indigent and needy, who hath hastened unto the ocean of Thy wealth; I am he, poor and impoverished, who hath drawn nigh unto the horizon of Thy bounty; I am he, the stranger, who hath sought his heavenly home in the precincts of Thine all-embracing mercy. Withhold not from him, O Lord, the resplendent rays of the sun of Thy loving-kindness, nor deny him the effusions of the clouds of Thy grace and the firmament of Thy bountiful favor.”
Then the reader tells Baha’u’llah that s/he is sitting waiting for an answer in the form of some substantive assistance. “O Lord, Thou seest that mine eyes are awaiting the sight of the wonders of Thy generosity, and that my hands are upraised unto the heaven of Thy bounty. I entreat Thee, O Sovereign of the realms of names and Lord of the kingdom of the divine decree, to assist me as Thou willest and pleasest.” And so the prayer goes on, with this wonderful interaction between the reader and Baha’u’llah. As with many prayers, Baha’u’llah has cast them in a sort of dialogue between himself and the believer. The dialogue form is like a devotional performance, which takes the believer through a mental process that shows them how a solution to their problems can be found. It is quite magical.