Hollow Reed

O God, make me a hollow reed, through which the pith of self hath been blown, so that I may become a clear channel through which Thy love may flow to others.
I have left behind me impatience and discontent. I commit myself wholly into Thy hands, for Thou art my Guide in the desert, the Teacher of my ignorance, the Physician of my sickness. I am a soldier in my King’s army. I have given up my will to Him and my life to dispose of as He may please. I know not what fate Thou designest for me, nor will I enquire or seek to know. The task of the day suffices for me, and all the future is Thine. Little by little, Thou changest weakness into strength, doubt to faith, perplexity to understanding. When I am fit to bear the burden, Thou will lay it on my shoulder. When I am prepared to take the field, Thou will assign me a place in the army of light. Now I have no other duty than to equip myself for Thy service. With eagerness and patience, with hope and gratitude I bend to the task of the hour lest when Thy call comes I be found unready.
This prayer, often attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is an excerpt from a longer prayer actually written by George Townshend. [Universal House of Justice, Sept. 27, 1992.] It can be found in the Mission of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 124.
The first portion of the text, “O God! Make me a hollow reed from which the pith of self hath been blown, that I may become a clear channel through which Thy love may flow to others", has often been attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; however, the Research Department has not yet located any original text and is therefore unable to verify its authenticity. As a result, the prayer may be recited or sung by the believers, but it should not be attributed to the Master nor appear under His name in books and other publications.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual, December 12, 1999)
You cite a reference which states that this prayer was in fact written by the Hand of the Cause of God George Townshend. Because this prayer has often been incorrectly quoted as the opening sentence from the following passage on page 124 of Mr. Townshend’s book The Mission of Bahá’u’lláh (London: George Ronald, 1965), it would give the impression that he has written the words. However, the prayer in question does not appear in his book and cannot be attributed to him.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual, December 12, 1999)