Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting
For Bahá'ís, the purpose of life is to know and love God, and thus to progress spiritually. As in most other religions, prayer and meditation are primary tools for spiritual development.
Bahá'u'lláh Himself wrote hundreds of prayers. There are prayers for general use, for healing, for spiritual growth, for facing difficulties, for marriage, for community life, and for humanity itself.
Bahá'u'lláh also asked His followers to choose one of three "obligatory" prayers for recitation each day. The shortest of these prayers is just three sentences long. It says much about the relationship between God and humanity. It reads:
I bear witness, O my God, that Thou has created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.The term "obligatory," as applied to these prayers, implies for Bahá'ís an understanding that humans have certain spiritual duties before God. Bahá'u'lláh also urged His followers to spend each day in meditation:
Meditate profoundly, that the secret of things unseen may be revealed unto you, that you may inhale the sweetness of a spiritual and imperishable fragrance..."Specifically, He encouraged us to reflect at the end of each day on our deeds and their worth. Other than this, Bahá'u'lláh did not specify a particular approach to meditation. Instead, each individual is free to choose his or her own meditational form.