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Prayer - 5 Steps

5 Steps of Prayer for Solving Problems
The below five steps were suggested by the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi
to a believer as a means of finding a solution through the use of prayer.
This statement belongs to the category of statements known as “pilgrims
notes", and as such has no authority, but since it seems to be particularly
helpful and clear it was felt that believers should not be deprived of it.
1st Step: Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations
as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of contemplation
for a few minutes.
2nd Step: Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision is usually born
during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment
but if it seems to be as answer to a prayer or a way of solving the problem,
then immediately take the next step.
3rd Step: Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here.
The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step.
4th Step: Have faith and confidence that the power will flow through you,
the right way will appear, the door will open, the right thought, the right
message, the right principle, or the right book will be given to you. Have
confidence and the right thing will come to your need. Then, as you rise
from prayer, take at once the 5th step.
5th Step: Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless,
ceaseless energy. And as you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which
will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed
channel for the Divine power to flow through you.
Many pray but do not remain for the last half of the first step. Some who
meditate arrive at a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to carry the decision through, still fewer have the confidence that the right thing will come to their need.
But how many remember to act as though it had all been answered? How true
are these words “Greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered” and greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out.
Shoghi Effendi, Principles of Bahá’í Administration, p. 91.


Regarding the five steps of prayer outlined by the Guardian, and recorded by Mrs. Moffett in her booklet the ‘Call to Prayer‘: these, he wishes me to explain, are merely personal suggestions and need not, therefore, be adopted strictly and universally by the believers.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 461)


You mention that the answers to your prayers never seem to have come through clearly. Mrs Ruth Moffett has published her recollection of five steps of prayer for guidance that she was told by the beloved Guardian. When asked about these notes, Shoghi Effendi replied, in letters written by his secretary on his behalf, that the notes should be regarded as “Personal suggestions,” that he considered them to be “quite sound,” but that the friends need not adopt them ’strictly and universally.” The House of Justice feels that they may be helpful to you and, indeed, you may already be familiar with them. They are as follows: ... use these five steps if we have a problem of any kind for which we desire a solution, or wish help. Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations, as they have the greatest power. Learn to remain in the silence of contemplation for a few moments. During this deepest communion take the next step. Arrive at a decision and hold to this. This decision is usually born in a flash at the close or during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment, but if it seems to be an answer to prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step. Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step. Have faith and confidence, that the Power of the Holy Spirit will flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the right message, the right principle or the right book will be given to you. Have confidence, and the right thing will come to meet your need. Then as you rise from prayer take immediately the fifth step. Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And, as you act, you yourself will become a magnet which will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for the Divine Power to flow through you.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 384-385)