Nearness to God - Self

Do Thou destine for me, O my God, what will set me, at all times, towards Thee, and enable me to cleave continually to the cord of Thy grace, and to proclaim Thy name, and to look for whatsoever may flow down from Thy pen. I am poor and desolate, O my Lord, and Thou art the All-Possessing, the Most High. Have pity, then, upon me through the wonders of Thy mercy, and send down upon me, every moment of my life, the things wherewith Thou hast recreated the hearts of all Thy creatures who have recognized Thy unity, and of all Thy people who are wholly devoted to Thee. Thou, verily, art the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 241)


Enable Thy servants, O my God, to discover the things Thou didst desire for them in Thy Kingdom. Acquaint them, moreover, with what He Who is the Origin of Thy most excellent titles hath, in His love for Thee, been willing to bear for the sake of the regeneration of their souls, that they may haste to attain the River that is Life indeed, and turn their faces in the direction of Thy Name, the Most Merciful. Abandon them not to themselves, O my God! Draw them, by Thy bountiful favor, to the heaven of Thine inspiration. They are but paupers, and Thou art the All-Possessing, the ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 198-199)


From the sweet-scented streams of Thine eternity give me to drink, O my God, and of the fruits of the tree of Thy being enable me to taste, O my Hope! From the crystal springs of Thy love suffer me to quaff, O my Glory, and beneath the shadow of Thine everlasting providence let me abide, O my Light! Within the meadows of Thy nearness, before Thy presence, make me able to roam, O my Beloved, and at the right hand of the throne of Thy mercy, seat me, O my Desire! From the fragrant breezes of Thy joy let a breath pass over me, O my Goal, and into the heights of the paradise of Thy reality let me gain admission, O my Adored One! To the melodies of the dove of Thy oneness suffer me to hearken, O Resplendent One, and through the spirit of Thy power and Thy might quicken me, O my Provider! In the spirit of Thy love keep me steadfast, O my Succorer, and in the path of Thy good-pleasure set firm my steps, O my Maker! Within the garden of Thine immortality, before Thy countenance, let me abide for ever, O Thou Who art merciful unto me, and upon the seat of Thy glory stablish me, O Thou Who art my Possessor! To the heaven of Thy loving-kindness lift me up, O my Quickener, and unto the Day-Star of Thy guidance lead me, O Thou my Attractor! Before the revelations of Thine invisible spirit summon me to be present, O Thou Who art my Origin and my Highest Wish, and unto the essence of the fragrance of Thy beauty, which Thou wilt manifest, cause me to return, O Thou Who art my God! Potent art Thou to do what pleasest Thee. Thou art, verily, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, the All-Highest.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 258-259)


Glorified, immensely glorified art Thou! Thou art He Who from everlasting hath been the King of the entire creation and its Prime Mover, and Thou wilt to everlasting remain the Lord of all created things and their Ordainer. Glorified art Thou, O my God! If Thou ceasest to be merciful unto Thy servants, who, then, will show mercy unto them; and if Thou refusest to succor Thy loved ones, who is there that can succor them? Glorified, immeasurably glorified art Thou! Thou art adored in Thy truth, and Thee do we all, verily, worship; and Thou art manifest in Thy justice, and to Thee do we all, verily, bear witness. Thou art, in truth, beloved in Thy grace. No God is there but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 261)


Glory be to Thee, O my God! Thou hearest Thine ardent lovers lamenting in their separation from Thee, and such as have recognized Thee wailing because of their remoteness from Thy presence. Open Thou outwardly to their faces, O my Lord, the gates of Thy grace, that they may enter them by Thy leave and in conformity with Thy will, and may stand before the throne of Thy majesty, and catch the accents of Thy voice, and be illumined with the splendors of the light of Thy face. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. None can withstand the power of Thy sovereign might. From everlasting Thou wert alone, with none to equal Thee, and wilt unto everlasting remain far above all thought and every description of Thee. Have mercy, then, upon Thy servants by Thy grace and bounty, and suffer them not to be kept back from the shores of the ocean of Thy nearness. If Thou abandonest them, who is there to befriend them; and if Thou puttest them far from Thee, who is he that can favor them? They have none other Lord beside Thee, none to adore except Thyself. Deal Thou generously with them by They bountiful grace. Thou, in truth, art the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 72)


Grant, then, O my God, that Thy servant who hath turned towards Thee, hath fixed his gaze upon Thee, and clung to the cord of Thy mercifulness and favor, may be enabled to partake of the living waters of Thy mercy and grace. Cause him, then, to ascend unto the heights to which he aspireth, and withhold him not from that which Thou dost possess. Thou art, verily, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Bountiful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 123-124)


Having testified, therefore, unto mine own impotence and the impotence of Thy servants, I beseech Thee, by the brightness of the light of Thy beauty, not to refuse Thy creatures attainment to the shores of Thy most holy ocean. Draw them, then, O my God, through the Divine sweetness of Thy melodies, towards the throne of Thy glory and the seat of Thine eternal holiness. Thou art, verily, the Most Powerful, the Supreme Ruler, the Great Giver, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Desired.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 123-124)


I beseech Thee, O Thou the Shaper of all the nations and the Quickener of every moldering bone, to graciously enable Thy servants to recognize Him Who is the Manifestation of Thy Self and the Revealer of Thy transcendent might, that they may cut down, by Thy power, all the idols of their corrupt inclinations, and enter beneath the shadow of Thine all-encompassing mercy, which, by virtue of Thy name, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, hath surpassed the entire creation. I know not, O my God, how long will Thy creatures continue to slumber on the bed of forgetfulness and evil desires, and remain far removed from Thee and shut out from Thy presence. Draw them nearer, O my God, unto the scene of Thine effulgent glory, and enrapture their hearts with the sweet savors of Thine inspiration, through which they who adore Thy unity have soared on the wings of desire towards Thee, and they who are devoted to Thee have reached unto Him Who is the Dawning-Place of the Day-Star of Thy creation. Cleave asunder, O my Lord, the veils that shut them out from Thee, that they may behold Thee shining above the horizon of Thy oneness and shedding Thy radiance from the dawning-place of Thy sovereignty. By Thy glory! Were they to discover the sweetness of Thy remembrance and apprehend the excellence of the things that are sent down upon them from the right hand of the throne of Thy majesty, they would cast away all that they possess, and would rush forth into the wilderness of their longing after Thee, that the glance of Thy loving-kindness may be directed towards them and the radiance of the Day-Star of Thy beauty may be shed upon them. Let their hearts, O my Lord, be carried away by Thy remembrance, and their souls enriched by Thy riches, and their wills strengthened to proclaim Thy Cause amidst Thy creatures. Thou art, verily, the Great Giver, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 201-202)


I implore Thee, O my Lord, by Thy name, the Ever-Abiding, and by Thy name which Thou didst ordain to be the most great Instrument binding Thee to Thy servants, to grant that I may flee for shelter to Thy door, and speak forth Thy praise. Write down, then, for me, in every world of Thine, that which will enable me to enter beneath Thy shadow and within the borders of Thy court. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most Bountiful, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 122)


I pray Thee by Him Who is the sovereign Lord of Names to write down for me with the Pen of Thy bounty that which will enable me to draw nigh unto Thee and will purge me from my trespasses which have intervened between me and Thy forgiveness and Thy pardon. Verily, Thou art the Potent, the Bountiful. No God is there but Thee, the Mighty, the Gracious.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 25)


I swear by Thy glory, O Lord the Beloved of the world and the Desire of all them that have recognized Thee! I am sore afflicted by the grief of my separation from Thee, in the days when the Day-Star of Thy presence hath shed its radiance upon Thy people. Write down, then, for me the recompense decreed for such as have gazed on Thy face, and have, by Thy leave, gained admittance into the court of Thy throne, and have, at Thy bidding, met Thee face to face.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 240)


In the love I bear to Thee, O my Lord, my heart longeth for Thee with a longing such as no heart hath known. Here am I with my body between Thy hands, and my spirit before Thy face. Do with them as it may please Thee, for the exaltation of Thy word, and the revelation of what hath been enshrined within the treasuries of Thy knowledge. Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest, and able to ordain what Thou pleasest.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 242)


Magnified be Thy Name, O Lord my God! I am the one who hath turned his face towards Thee and hath placed his whole reliance in Thee. I implore Thee by Thy Name whereby the ocean of Thine utterance hath surged and the breezes of Thy knowledge have stirred, to grant that I may be graciously aided to serve Thy Cause and be inspired to remember Thee and praise Thee. Send down then upon me from the heaven of Thy generosity that which will preserve me from anyone but Thee and will profit me in all Thy worlds. Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Inaccessible, the Supreme, the Knowing, the Wise.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 267)


O God, my God! Have mercy then upon my helpless state, my poverty, my misery, my abasement! Give me to drink from the generous cup of Thy grace and forgiveness, stir me with the sweet scents of Thy love, gladden my bosom with the light of Thy knowledge, purify my soul with the mysteries of Thy oneness, raise me to life with the gentle breeze that cometh from the gardens of Thy mercy—till I sever myself from all else but Thee, and lay hold of the hem of Thy garment of grandeur, and consign to oblivion all that is not Thee, and be companioned by the sweet breathings that waft during these Thy days, and attain unto faithfulness at Thy Threshold of Holiness, and arise to serve Thy Cause, and to be humble before Thy loved ones, and, in the presence of Thy favoured ones, to be nothingness itself. Verily art Thou the Helper, the Sustainer, the Exalted, the Most Generous.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 4-5)


O God, my God, my Beloved, my heart’s desire.
(The Báb, )


O holy Lord! O Lord of loving-kindness! We stray about Thy dwelling, longing to behold Thy beauty, and loving all Thy ways. We are hapless, lowly, and of small account. We are paupers: show us mercy, give us bounty; look not upon our failings, hide Thou our endless sins. Whatever we are, still are we Thine, and what we speak and hear is praise of Thee, and it is Thy face we seek, Thy path we follow. Thou art the Lord of loving-kindness, we are sinners and astray and far from home. Wherefore, O Cloud of Mercy, grant us some drops of rain. O Flowering Bed of grace, send forth a fragrant breeze. O Sea of all bestowals, roll towards us a great wave. O Sun of Bounty, send down a shaft of light. Grant us pity, grant us grace. By Thy beauty, we come with no provision but our sins, with no good deeds to tell of, only hopes. Unless Thy concealing veil doth cover us, and Thy protection shield and cradle us, what power have these helpless souls to rise and serve Thee, what substance have these wretched ones to make a brave display? Thou Who art the Mighty, the All-Powerful, help us, favour us; withered as we are, revive us with showers from Thy clouds of grace; lowly as we are, illumine us with bright rays from the Day-Star of Thy oneness. Cast Thou these thirsty fish into the ocean of Thy mercy, guide Thou this lost caravan to the shelter of Thy singleness; to the wellspring of guidance lead Thou the ones who have wandered far astray, and grant to those who have missed the path a haven within the precincts of Thy might. Lift Thou to these parched lips the bounteous and soft-flowing waters of heaven, raise up these dead to everlasting life. Grant Thou to the blind eyes that will see. Make Thou the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak. Set Thou the dispirited ablaze, make Thou the heedless mindful, warn Thou the proud, awaken those who sleep. Thou art the Mighty, Thou art the Bestower, Thou art the Loving. Verily Thou art the Beneficent, the Most Exalted.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 6)


O my God! I beseech Thee by the evidences of Thy favour, to let me draw nigh to the sublime heights of Thy holy presence, and protect me from inclining myself toward the subtle allusions of aught else but Thee. Guide my steps, O my God, unto that which is acceptable and pleasing to Thee. Shield me, through Thy might, from the fury of Thy wrath and chastisement, and hold me back from entering habitations not desired by Thee.
O MY God! I have failed to know Thee as is worthy of Thy glory, and I have failed to fear Thee as befitteth my station. How can I make mention of Thee when I am in this condition, and how can I set my face towards Thee when I have fallen short of my duty in worshipping Thee? Thou didst not call me into being to demonstrate the potency of Thy might which is unmistakably manifest and evident; for Thou art God Who everlastingly existed when there was naught. Rather Thou didst create us through Thy transcendent power that a bare mention may be graciously made of us before the resplendent manifestation of Thy Remembrance.
I have no knowledge of Thee, O my God, but that which Thou hast taught me whereby I might recognize Thy Self—a knowledge which reflecteth only my failure and sinfulness. Here am I then, O my God, wholly consecrated unto Thee, willing to do what Thou desirest. Humbly I cast myself before the revelations of Thy mercy, confessing that Thou art God, no God is there but Thee, and that Thou art incomparable, hast no partner and naught is there like Thee. Unto this Thou Thyself bearest witness, as well becometh Thy glory. He is God, the Sovereign Ruler, the Ever-Living, He Whose help all men implore.
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 205-206)


O MY God! There is no one but Thee to allay the anguish of my soul, and Thou art my highest aspiration, O my God. My heart is wedded to none save Thee and such as Thou dost love. I solemnly declare that my life and death are both for Thee. Verily Thou art incomparable and hast no partner. O my Lord! I beg Thee to forgive me for shutting myself out from Thee. By Thy glory and majesty, I have failed to befittingly recognize Thee and to worship Thee, while Thou dost make Thyself known unto me and callest me to remembrance as beseemeth Thy station. Grievous woe would betide me, O my Lord, wert Thou to take hold of me by reason of my misdeeds and trespasses. No helper do I know of other than Thee. No refuge do I have to flee to save Thee. None among Thy creatures can dare to intercede with Thyself without Thy leave. I hold fast to Thy love before Thy court, and, according to Thy bidding, I earnestly pray unto Thee as befitteth Thy glory. I beg Thee to heed my call as Thou hast promised me. Verily Thou art God; no God is there but Thee. Alone and unaided, Thou art independent of all created things. Neither can the devotion of Thy lovers profit Thee, nor the evil doings of the faithless harm Thee. Verily Thou art my God, He Who will never fail in His promise.
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 204-205)


O my Lord! Make Thy beauty to be my food, and Thy presence my drink, and Thy pleasure my hope, and praise of Thee my action, and remembrance of Thee my companion, and the power of Thy sovereignty my succorer, and Thy habitation my home, and my dwelling-place the seat Thou hast sanctified from the limitations imposed upon them who are shut out as by a veil from Thee. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 260)


O pure God, O loving God! We are wandering around Thy abode and longing for the gift of Thy meeting, and are loving Thy characteristics. We are helpless, humble, lowly, and weak; confer Thy mercy upon us, favor us with Thy gifts, overlook our shortcomings, and conceal our endless faults. We are Thine, whatever we might be (good or bad), and whatever we may say or hear is but Thy commendation. We seek but Thy face, and we search but Thy path. Thou art the loving God, while we are but sinners and love Thee passionately. O Thou Cloud of Mercy (shower upon us) a few drops! O Flower-garden of Favor (send to us) some fragrances! O Sea of Gifts (flow over us) Thy waves! O Sun of Grace (pour on us) some radiances! Have pity on us, and show us favor. We swear by Thy Beauty that we are full of errors, and we have no deeds, but hopes. Except Thy concealing veil should cover us, and Thy preservation and protection should favor us, these weak souls have not enough power to employ themselves in Thy service, and these indigent ones have not enough wealth to show a rich appearance. Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 368-369)


One of Thy handmaidens, O my Lord, hath sought Thy face, and soared in the atmosphere of Thy pleasure. Withhold not from her, O my Lord, the things Thou didst ordain for the chosen ones among Thy handmaidens. Enable her, then, to be so attracted by Thine utterances that she will celebrate Thy praise amongst them. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, Whose help is implored by all men.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 194)


Praise be to Thee! O my God, and the God of all things; my Splendor and the Splendor of all things; my Hope and the Hope of all things; my Sovereign and the Sovereign of all things; my King and the King of all things; my Beloved and the Beloved of all things; and my Mover and the Mover of all things! I ask Thee not to prevent my attaining the Sea of Thy Benevolence, nor to keep me from the Shore of Thy Nearness! O God! All else beside Thee will not profit me, and the nearness of all else save Thee will not suffice me. I ask Thee by Thy Riches, whereby Thou hast been independent of all else beside Thyself, to make me of those who look unto Thee and arise for Thy service. O God! Forgive Thy servants and worshippers; verily, Thou art the Forgiver, the Merciful!
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 432)


Send down, then, O my God, through Thy Most Great Name, upon Thy loved ones what will, under all conditions, draw them nearer unto Thee. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, Whose help is implored by all men.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 190)


The plants that have sprung forth, O my Lord, in the hearts of Thy loved ones have withered away. Send down upon them, from the clouds of Thy spirit, that which will cause the tender herbs of Thy knowledge and wisdom to grow within their breasts. Rejoice, then, their hearts with the proclamation of Thy Cause and the exaltation of Thy sovereignty. Their eyes, O my Lord, are expectantly turned in the direction of Thy bounty, and their faces are set towards the horizon of Thy grace. Suffer them not, through Thy bounty, to be deprived of Thy grace. Potent art Thou, by Thy sovereign might, over all things. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 198)


Verily I am Thy servant, O my God, and Thy poor one and Thy suppliant and Thy wretched creature. I have arrived at Thy gate, seeking Thy shelter. I have found no contentment save in Thy love, no exultation except in Thy remembrance, no eagerness but in obedience to Thee, no joy save in Thy nearness, and no tranquillity except in reunion with Thee, notwithstanding that I am conscious that all created things are debarred from Thy sublime Essence and the entire creation is denied access to Thine inmost Being. Whenever I attempt to approach Thee, I perceive nothing in myself but the tokens of Thy grace and behold naught in my being but the revelations of Thy loving-kindness. How can one who is but Thy creature seek reunion with Thee and attain unto Thy presence, whereas no created thing can ever be associated with Thee, nor can aught comprehend Thee? How is it possible for a lowly servant to recognize Thee and to extol Thy praise, notwithstanding that Thou hast destined for him the revelations of Thy dominion and the wondrous testimonies of Thy sovereignty? Thus every created thing beareth witness that it is debarred from the sanctuary of Thy presence by reason of the limitations imposed upon its inner reality. It is undisputed, however, that the influence of Thine attraction hath everlastingly been inherent in the realities of Thy handiwork, although that which beseemeth the hallowed court of Thy providence is exalted beyond the attainment of the entire creation. This indicateth, O my God, my utter powerlessness to praise Thee and revealeth my utmost impotence in yielding thanks unto Thee; and how much more to attain the recognition of Thy divine unity or to succeed in reaching the clear tokens of Thy praise, Thy sanctity and Thy glory. Nay, by Thy might, I yearn for naught but Thine Own Self and seek no one other than Thee.
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 174-175)