A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Devotional Gatherings

Man may say: “I can pray to God whenever I wish, when the feelings of my heart are drawn to God; when I am in the wilderness, when I am in the city, or wherever I may be. Why should I go where others are gathered upon a special day, at a certain hour, to unite my prayers with theirs, when I may not be in a frame of mind for praying?” To think in this way is useless imagination, for where many are gathered together their force is greater. Separate soldiers fighting alone and individually have not the force of a united army. If all the soldiers in this spiritual war gather together, then their united spiritual feelings help each other, and their prayers become acceptable.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from notes taken by Ethel J. Rosenberg)


The prayers which Bahá’u’lláh has ordained as a daily obligation for Bahá’ís are to be said privately. Only in the case of the Prayer for the Dead has Bahá’u’lláh commanded congregational prayer, and the only requirement is that the believer who reads it aloud, and all others present, should stand. This differs from the Islamic practice of congregational prayer in which the believers stand in rows behind an imam, who leads the prayer, which is prohibited in the Bahá’í Faith. These ordinances, which are in accordance with Bahá’u’lláh’s abolition of professional clergy, do not mean that He attached no value to meetings for worship. Regarding the value of gathering for prayer, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke as follows: Man may say: “I can pray to God whenever I wish, when the feelings of my heart are drawn to God; when I am in the wilderness, when I am in the city, or wherever I may be. Why should I go where others are gathered upon a special day, at a certain hour, to unite my prayers with theirs, when I may not be in a frame of mind for praying?” To think in this way is useless imagination, for where many are gathered together their force is greater. Separate soldier fighting alone and individually have not the force of a united army. If all the soldier in this spiritual war gather together, then their united spiritual feelings help each other, and their prayers become acceptable.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 93)


To be brief, it hath been decided by the Desire of God that union and harmony may day by day increase among the friends of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful One, in the West. Not until this is realized will the affairs advance by any means whatever! And the greatest means for the union and harmony of all is Spiritual Meetings. This matter is very important and is as a magnet (to attract or) for divine confirmation.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 124-125)